In-N-Out Experiment in 10 Steps

It’s the usual joke when I tell someone that I’m headed to SoCal for a visit…bring me back a double-double.  I usually just smile and nod, but when reminded that I could take pictures and make a blog post out of it, well then the wheels start turning.

In N Out on PCH/2nd in the LBC

Growing up in SoCal, for years In N Out was a real treat, limited to road trips or the occasional trip to a local walk-up-only one in a sketchy neighborhood. The chain, while still family-owned, has really grown in recent years.

double double with fries

Step One: Cut a hole in the box. Procure two double-doubles. Eat one while driving waiting for the other one to cool down.

frozen double-double

Step Two: Cool down completely and wrap well. I ordered the burger that was to be frozen with no produce and sauce on the side.

frozen burger

Step Three: Prepare to be laughed at by the TSA agent when getting your frozen burger through security at the airport.  Burger and fries and wrapped in foil, frozen and bagged in a gallon Ziploc surrounded by several ice packs (I am truly surprised that TSA didn’t take the gel ice packs away from me).

defrosting burger

Step Four: After spending a night in the fridge, the burger is defrosting and ready to be deconstructed.

burger seperated from bun

Step Five: Carefully pry the burger away from the bun. The bun is re-toasted and the meat is re-heated separately.  The grilled onions seem to have survived the trip.

reheating the burger

Step Six: While the buns toast, I tried reheating the burger in a skillet. It didn’t work because I realized I couldn’t flip it due to the cheese on the top and since it’s a double burger, it wasn’t going to get hot all the way through without flipping. I ended up putting it in the microwave.

in n out fries

Step Seven: Reheat the fries in the toaster oven. Truthfully, I don’t think their fries are all that great anyway (unless dipped in a chocolate shake).

in n out spread

Step Eight: Reassembling the burger. Add spread, fresh tomatoes and lettuce.


Step Nine: Re-wrap in fresh paper and re-bag along with hot fries.  The bun is looking a little worse for the wear, but otherwise OK.

happy in n out fan

Step Ten: Find a teenager willing to try anything, preferably the one who convinced you to try bringing back a burger in the first place.

satisfied in n out fan

I’d say it was a success!

What I learned:

  • The fries aren’t good enough to begin with to bother transporting.
  • It is worth the hassle just to have your house smell like In-N-Out for a few hours.




Poppy Seed Cake

I am not one of those people who refuse to share a recipe, or worse, one of those that omit a crucial ingredient so your version never turns out quite right.  Love shared is love multiplied as far as I am concerned. And since I don’t really develop recipes, who knows where I would be if no one shared with me.

ethel's poppy seed cake recipe card

My grandmother made this cake as long as I can remember and I’ve been making it for nearly as long as I can remember. Her version, in her writing.

But it most likely came from one of these sources, probably the Daily Breeze.

poppy seed wine cake

She always mentioned using port or sherry and I didn’t know where she got that idea until I came across this in her recipe card box recently.

madeira cake

This version is the one she copied for me, but since she was a tweaker too the poppy seed amount is changed.

Here’s my version:

Ethel’s Poppy Seed Cake

  • 1 pkg. yellow cake mix
  • 1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding (small box)
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ Madeira wine
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds

Mix well.  Bake in a well-greased Bundt pan at 350 for 40-55 min.  Start testing at 40 min.  Let cool, turn out of pan and dust with powdered sugar.

sunflower Bundt

I often make one in a sunflower Bundt pan, a nod to my Grandmother’s favorite flower (and the Kansas state flower).

poppy seed bundt cake

For a more elegant presentation, use a traditional Bundt pan and dust with powdered sugar.

Make sure to save a slice and enjoy it for breakfast the next morning with a cup of coffee (preferably in your kitchen listening to Vin Scully, the voice of the Dodgers, broadcasting a game on a transistor radio).

baking kids

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