Gluten-Free In Los Angeles: Breakaway Bakery

 

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Uncle Chaz and Obi-Wan start off the arcade experience with air hockey.

Happy new year! Did you think I was done with the road trip? Not even. Life just got in the way is all. But I’m back to finish up the trip and telling you about all the great gluten-free eats we had in completely gluten-free places.

After leaving Fresno, we headed for Los Angeles. For those of you who have followed me for a while, you know going to L.A. means time with my bestie and her family. There was much galavanting about town and hanging out at the house. Obi-Wan was excited (if you can’t tell from the first picture) to play some games with Uncle Chaz.

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Dawn made me this amazing travel journal for my birthday. It is my bullet journal with my tasks, calendars, and address book. When I’m at appointments and take it out to schedule my next one, everyone oohs and ahhs over the peacock. Peacocks are worthy of those reactions. I loved this so much I ordered a custom made one from her to use only for my writing stuff – if you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or my Facebook author page you may have seen the pictures I shared of it when I got it in the mail. If you want one of your own, head over to her Etsy shop – DevilleRouge Designs – and you can request a custom order.

While Obi-Wan was in school the next day, we met up with bestie and Mara Jade in Pasadena at the Container Store. Yes, the Container Store. Who doesn’t love a good container? I gave Mara Jade a Hello Kitty we found at the mall the day before and this happened while in another store:breakaway-bakery-5She was actually loving on her and hugging her and then she stopped like she knew I was trying to get a picture of her adorableness. Still cute and I will always love this photo. breakaway-bakery-6

We hung out at Obi-Wan’s school for a little festival one afternoon. We all got shave ice and while Obi-Wan was playing a game, Mara Jade decided that Uncle Chaz’s shave ice was the only one for her. Uncle Chaz was a good sport.

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This is how she rolls on Rodeo Drive.

Dawn and I ran off one morning with Mara Jade to the poshness of Beverly Hills. Granny and Auntie Carol used to take me to Rodeo Drive when I was younger when I’d visit and then once a year when we moved to Encinitas. It was a thing for the three of us that my sisters never really cared for (but they came with us one year) but once Dawn and I were besties, it became a foursome. With Granny and Auntie Carol gone, we still go in memory of them and now we get to pass the tradition on to Mara Jade. Win-win. Also, Mara Jade was not impressed.

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We went to The Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns and while I usually get a selfie with Obi-Wan (which I did) I thought, let’s get Mara Jade in on the action. Too bad I still didn’t figure out that I needed to clean the front lens on my phone. Oops.

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In memoriam: Wes Craven. One of my favorite directors.

 

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In memoriam: Leonard Nimoy.

The morning after going to The Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns, Chaz and I drove down to Breakaway Bakery. Everything made in the bakery is free of gluten/wheat, dairy/casein, peanuts, tree nuts, gums, soy, and GMOs. Additionally, many items are vegan – like all the donuts.

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Starting from the top left going clockwise: vegan Snickerdoodle with vanilla glaze and cinnamon sugar, vegan salted chai caramel, vegan cocoa cinnamon with chocolate glaze, and vegan chocolate chip with chocolate glaze and vanilla stripes. The donuts are cake donuts, so if that is the type you prefer, you’ll love these.

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From top left going clockwise: lemon blueberry muffin, lil mint scoutie cookies, strawberry pinch cookie, and chocolate cupcake. My favorite of this bunch, the strawberry pinch cookie. There was much more to be had in the bakery and it was really hard to not buy one of everything. You can check out their menu on the website to see what I mean.

One of the things that makes Los Angeles easy to travel to is the amount of places that do gluten-free right. Sure, there are places that cater to the “fad-only” but far more often we find the places that take the time and effort to ensure minimal cross-contact in kitchen both in prep and cooking.

 

Kitchens

 

My kitchen

 

Kitchens were a place of gathering when I was growing up.  Small dining tables were in Granny’s and Grandma’s kitchens, as well as our own most of the time.  The houses we lived in where the table wasn’t in the kitchen it was right outside the kitchen.  Birthday candles were blown out at those tables.  Coloring projects were done at the table.  Dinner was eaten together at the table.

I spent many hours sitting at the tables in Granny and Grandma’s kitchens just talking to them while they cooked.  I eventually began cooking with Granny as I got older.   Granny and me used to play chess and other games at the table.  At Auntie Boogie’s house we’ll just sit around the table doing individual things like reading while snacking.  Oh yes, there is wine involved at Auntie’s table.  Depending on the occasion, it might be just a glass.  Other occasions its several glasses.

My own kitchens in apartments shared with Chaz have progressively become bigger.  A far cry from my days living in a studio apartment alone in which I had no “kitchen.”  My desk doubled as my cooking/prep area.  I had a hot plate with two burners.  I fixed many a healthy meal on that thing.  I even fixed spaghetti and garlic bread on it for 21 friends from church one night after service.  I still wonder how we fit all of us in that tiny studio.  One day, I want a huge kitchen complete with island that can be used for food prep as well as sitting around and just chatting.  I can dream, right?

 

Uncle C and Grandma Vi

 

A kitchen of sorts is set up outside for big family parties on my dad’s side of the family.  All the cooking happens out back while all the eating is usually done up in the carports and front lawns on big folding tables.  Sometimes people eat inside.  Usually the kids watching a movie or if there is a game on and a TV wasn’t moved outdoors.

 

The grandmas play a serious game of pipito at Grandma's kitchen table

 

We gather around the tables for games or to just talk story.  “Eh, remember when….?”  Usually in there somewhere is Uncle R shouting, “I did NOT set the Ragasa fiyah!  Was G!”  The same stories are told at each gathering.  But, they are so few and far between that it’s like we’re hearing it again for the first time.  “Eh, remember when we used to sneak out the house for G’s gigs at da Sheraton?  We used to make Debi run across da dance floor to tell him our requests.”  Lots of laughter.  Lots of fun.  Lots of memories.  Lots of smiles.

Admittedly, we don’t use our dining room table much at home.  Right now it’s a cluttered mess.  It usually stays a cluttered mess until I know we have company coming.  Then the table it used.  Chaz always says, “What’s this?” when he sees the table set for meals.  “It’s our dining room table.”  *rolling eyes at Chaz*

The hearth was the center of homes way back when.  Now that we have kitchens, they are and should be the center of our homes.  I look forward to my kitchen/dining room being the center of the home when we have our own family.