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Newsletter: In the Kitchen: Hack-a-snacks and more

From the L.A. Times Test Kitchen, fast-food recipe hacks for Taco Bell's Crunchwrap Supreme, Panda Express' orange chicken and the In-N-Out Double Double.

From the L.A. Times Test Kitchen, fast-food recipe hacks for Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme, Panda Express’ orange chicken and the In-N-Out Double Double.

(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Fellow DIY-ers,

You're jonesing for a Crunchwrap Supreme from Taco Bell but have no desire to lose your coveted parking spot for a junk food run. What do you do? Make it at home, of course. It's just one of the fast-food hacks you too can do at home while never getting out of your pajamas.

Of course, there's more than one way to get your kitchen MacGyver on. Got any leftover Mason jars lying around? Make your own tea infuser, twine dispenser and more with our Mason jar hacks. Or try making your own Nutella -- maybe the best thing you could ever do with your food processor, especially if you have kids around. And with football season officially upon us, we offer tips and recipes for taking your tailgate to the next level. Finally, you too can create your favorite Indian dishes at home after stocking up at one of our favorite Indian markets.

— Noelle Carter

Skip the drive-through: Recipe hacks for your favorite fast food

Craving fast food doesn't mean you actually have to go out to your favorite fast-food restaurant. Jenn Harris hacked her way through some of her junk food favorites and shares DIY versions of the orange chicken from Panda Express, the Double Double from In-N-Out and the Crunchwrap Supreme from Taco Bell. Now you don't have to suffer through fluorescent lighting to enjoy your guilty pleasure.

Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

5 Mason jar hacks

Mason jars. They're for more than just canning fruits and vegetables. Channel your inner MacGyver and turn extra Mason jars into soap dispensers, tea infusers, twine holders, pantry containers complete with pour spouts, or drink containers. And if you're feeling extra-creative, infuse your own liquor to store in your Mason jars too.

Joseph Shuldiner

Don't fight over Nutella. Make it yourself

Nutella has been all over the news lately. Lovers of the addictive Italian chocolate-hazelnut spread have been trying to figure out the right way to pronounce the name and fighting over who gets the samples at Costco. Maybe instead of fighting over it, just make it yourself.

Assuming you don't eat the entire batch out of the bowl, slather some Nutella between two slices of pound cake, like a sandwich, and grill the slices. Maybe even serve the sandwich topped with ice cream and a little grated chocolate.

Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Ready for the big game? Tips and recipes for your tailgate

Whether your tailgate party involves a custom rotisserie and team color-coordinated tents or a simple picnic on an old blanket, no pregame ritual is complete without the spread. This is one party that's as much about the food as it is about the actual game. And while it's easy to want a menu just as intense as all that face paint you have on right now, we have a bit of advice: Simple really is better. We share tips and recipes.

Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Stock up on Indian groceries at Samosa House

You love Indian food and want to try cooking it yourself but can't find a great Indian market. Where do you stock up on the asafoetida? Try Samosa House. Both the original market and a second outlet can be found in Culver City, and a third location opened recently in Silver Lake. Don't forget to order some freshly fried samosas while you're there.

Noelle Carter / Los Angeles Times

Check out the thousands of recipes on our Recipe Database

Feedback?

We’d love hear from you. Email us at food@latimes.com

Love cooking as much as I do? Follow me on Twitter: @noellecarter


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