What's the DISH?

Join us each month as we highlight and celebrate the JA Team favorites! Take the opportunity to learn just a little more about how each of us creates our own JA Magic and about our personalities as we share our favorite recipes, hobbies, and local restaurants are - from our family to yours.

This month’s Dish features Sandi Brinson, the current Account Executive / Director of HR Solutions at JA Benefits.

Sandi Brinson has brought a unique perspective given her prior HR Manager and Director roles. She understands the challenges and opportunities HR professionals face with recruitment and retention when it comes to their employee benefits packages.

Sandi joined JA Benefits in January of 2014. She has a strong background and knowledge of Human Resources. In fact, prior to joining JA Benefits, Sandi served in HR management roles since 2005.

Sandi is married to Zack Brinson, a Firefighter for the City of Bloomington, and has three children, Rhett, Wyatt and Scarlett. She enjoys volunteering and fundraising for Garrett’s Gift, as well as going camping, participating in sports, and traveling.

Sandi's JA Magic

Carrot Cake

“My absolute favorite homemade dessert is Carrot Cake. With Fall and my October birthday just around the corner, I am super excited about sharing this delicious recipe with others to enjoy!”


  • Butter, for pans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Grease & flour three 9 inch pans (Sister Schubert Roll pans work great if you don’t have enough pans around your house!)
  2. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper I skipped this step, however they were a little difficult to get out of the pans.  They did come out, but the parchment paper would have helped!
  3. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Add eggs and vegetable oil.  Blend until combined.
  4. Add carrots and pecans (pecans optional).
  5. Pour into pans.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Cool for 4 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.
  6. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Mix all ingredients except the nuts into a medium bowl & beat until fluffy with a mixter.  Stir in the nuts.  Spread over each cake layer.  Stack the cakes and serve . . . yummmmmm!

Janko’s Little Zagreb

Sandi loves eating out at Janko’s Little Zagreb in Downtown Bloomington, IN.

“Janko’s Little Zagreb is my husband and I’s go-to spot for special occasions. We very rarely deviate from our usual…the Spicy Meatballs, Sirloin for 2 and of course, a glass of red wine!”

Visit the WebsiteCheck Out the MenuGet Directions

Visit Janko's Little Zagreb

223 W 6th St, Bloomington, IN 47404

Thanks for joining us for this month’s Dish!

If you try a recipe or restaurant, be sure to let us know. Don’t forget to come back next month for more yummy favorites!