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How to Shop for Eggs

How to Shop for Eggs

May is National Egg Month, so we're talking eggs today and why shopping for them is confusing. Organic? Cage free? Free range? Brown or white? There’s no nutrition label to read and the jargon on the packages can be unclear, so you probably find yourself staring at a cold shelf of eggs for at least five minutes before just grabbing a random carton.

Here are some shopping tips:

  1. When it comes to eggs, price is a good indicator of quality.
  2. If you can afford to and have access to small farm eggs - these are your best bet.
  3. When a chicken is under stress (dark, tight, confining headquarters), you won’t get the most nutritious egg.
  4. “Free Range” and “Cage Free” are better than regular eggs, primarily because of the treatment of the animal.
  5. Organic “Free Range” and “Cage Free” are better than regular eggs, both for you and the chicken.
  6. Choose organic when possible.
  7. Brown and white don’t make a difference.
  8. Chickens are not meant to be vegetarians because they should eat worms (just not pig, cow, and fish parts).
  9. Enriched Omega-3 eggs benefits the farmer’s pocket more than you. Just eat wild fish or 100% grassfed meat if you need more Omega-3’s in your diet.
  10. If you are baking (and on a budget), go with a slightly less quality egg than you would for plain egg consumption.
  11. Save $4-5 elsewhere and consider the $8/dozen pasture raised eggs IF you are a regular egg eater.
  12. Don’t forget to hit up friends/family that raise chickens for a barter or exchange.

Article credit: Wake the Wolves 

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Spotlight | The Fancy F

Spotlight | The Fancy F

We started following The Fancy F on Instagram when we relaunched with our Flock Wisely theme. We were blown away by the farm’s rare-breed chickens and 1900s inspired egg cartons that look like they could be featured in the pages of Dwell magazine. It’s with great delight that we’ve seen them garner ample press and deserved recognition for their dedication to free range practices and modern sense of style. To learn more, read this in-depth Gardenista profile and enjoy photographs taken by Caity Delphia, the co-founder of the operation. Also, make sure to follow along with them on their beautiful Instagram feed...

"Catherine (Caity) Delphia is a Johns Hopkins–trained medical illustrator and graphic designer who also is a passionate chicken farmer. She and her partner, Aaron Dunn, a landscape designer, together own and run The Fancy F, a year-old, 15-acre enterprise in Hillsdale, in New York’s Hudson Valley, where they raise heritage and rare-breed chickens that produce colorful eggs. And to showcase their product, Delphia took it upon herself to create an egg carton that gets noticed.

To learn her sideline, Delphia began by volunteering at a range of farms—CSA vegetable and meat farms, a tree and topiary farm, and the kitchen garden on a private estate. Along the way, she and Dunn fell in love and began raising chickens at their one-acre suburban home in the Berkshires. After a several-year search, they found their current place, a former thoroughbred farm that had been derelict for a decade. The cleanup is still in progress, but they’ve been able to significantly increase production (they raise six varieties of chickens, plus a small herd of Nigerian spotted goats, mini donkeys, and Randall cows) while still holding down their day jobs.

The farm’s green eggs come in two tones: “true olive” and “minty.” They’re bred mostly from Marans and Araucana crossbreeds. Alas, the different colors don’t produce different flavors, but the eggs themselves are pasture-fresh and meant to be eaten—though, Delphia admits, often people find them too pretty to crack.

But how to create a container that improves upon the familiar pulp or plastic carton? Delphia says, “I wanted to really push the visual presentation of what one dozen eggs could be.” Taking inspiration from the paper cartons in use from the early 1900s through the 1950s, she contacted an old-school box manufacturer in Ware, Massachusetts, and “brought back a piece of history—with some modifications and a modern print.” Delphia designed her cartons to have “a wonderful reveal.” Her chevron pattern is an abstracted version of the subtle lacing known as birchen that some birds have on their necks.

The couple get their chickens from a range of sources: hatcheries, chicken shows (“the Poultry Congress every January in Springfield, Massachusetts, is very fun”), Rare Breed Auctions (“like an eBay for chickens but pricey”), and chicken swaps (“enthusiasts organize these: You meet in a parking lot and buy and exchange chickens”). She recommends Backyard Chickens as a great general online resource.

Stay tuned…Delphia and Dunn are planning to open a vegetable, perennial, and tree nursery this spring."

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Getting Out of the Office

Getting Out of the Office

On Friday morning, I was lucky enough to sip from a deep well of inspiration at the SF MoMA. It started off with a captivating and intimate presentation from Christina Amini at Creative Mornings, who encouraged authenticity, curiosity, perseverance and collaboration. For the last fifteen years Christina has been the Executive Publishing Director of Art, Food, and Lifestyle Publishing at Chronicle Books…her insights about reaching success from a place of allowing, inquisitiveness and the “try, try again” mentality was extremely uplifting. In closing she left the crowd with a thoughtful question that we’ve added to our Loyale mantra list, “How are your values made evident by your actions?” Kapow! What a powerful, common sense question that should be addressed and pondered on a daily basis…

Following Christina’s talk, I sipped fantastic coffee from Sight Glass and wandered the museum with my CM buddy, Cory, the pioneer behind Camp Fireball, an imaginative and super fun variety show that collaborates with performers/speakers/artists from the community the event is taking place. We took in the scenery, good conversation and art while enjoying the new spring in our steps as the heightened positive energy from the morning trailed us. 

Ps. I highly recommend everyone check out Creative Mornings; they have monthly meet ups in more than 190 cities around the globe and they’re free to attend! And as a friendly reminder – let’s all get out of our grind once and awhile to experience a beautiful space nearby that might spark new creative ideas or at least give our minds something new to look at beyond a computer or phone screen.

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LA Team | Candice | Now We Start Once More

LA Team | Candice | Now We Start Once More

2017 has come and gone. Here we sit trying to figure out how it all happened so fast, meanwhile, 2018 is here. Before I set my sights on this New Year, I want to take a minute to relish in the adventures of 2017, because it was truly one for the books.

The year started with a job search that carried over from 2016. I graduated 6 months before, had been interning with the city of Raleigh planning events and managing a music venue, but sadly there was nothing more than this internship on the horizon. So, off I set on a winding road of disappointment and tears through 20 job interviews. I know what you're thinking, but that number is not an exaggeration. Mid-search and mid-March, Genevieve and I set off for two weeks through France. From Raleigh to New York, to Poland, to Paris, a train to Aix-en-Provence, bus trips to simple mountainside cities, cafes, chocolate shops, and more croissants than you could imagine, France was by far the most magical and romantic excursion of my 26 years of life. I won't drown you with the details, but you can read about my favorite parts here and here and here.

The summer was long and fulfilling, chock full of 15-hour event days and long nights of prepping the amphitheater for an experience filled with music in the heart of downtown Raleigh, where the backdrop of the city skyline and the incessant noise of nightlife filled the air. My heart was content and still for once. I knew this wasn't forever, but it was for now and it was so special. 

Late-August I was offered a job on the spot in my interview and started the next week. Finally, my bones sank back into position, my eyes settled, and I felt like, for the first time in a long while, that I could actually do this.

The rest of the year flew by, with a trip to Austin for a music festival and catching up with pals, to multiple Friendsgivings and dinner parties. I bought a car, got a cavity filled (I'm not sure why, but I feel like this was vital for you to know), adopted another kitty, settled into my cozy nook in Raleigh, and now here I am, ready to prepare for this new year.

It truly has been a wild year. This short synopsis does no justice to the craziness that actually transpired, but I have found that these mid-twenties for me have been nothing short of an endless cycle of what if's and what could be's.

But now for 2018. I can feel it in my toes, this year is the one. The year for more adventures, more explorations in faraway cities, more coffees with strangers, more twists and turns and crying on the kitchen floor and dancing at midnight.

I don't believe in New Year Resolutions. To me, a resolution means a clean slate, starting from zero. I believe in building on your mistakes and your achievements to continue moving towards a goal. I believe in making your dreams come true. So what am I working towards this year?

  • Moving to a new city: Raleigh has been an amazing baseline to grow and settle into my skin but it's time for a new start! Suggestions? I have some ideas but I'm curious where you would consider creative pursuit and entrepreneurial dreams flourish.
  • Writing a book: Many of you know I've been working on this for a while now, but I have two different projects I am working on simultaneously and the goal is to finish at least one by the close of 2018.
  • Traveling to 2 new countries: I think seeing the world is vital for perspective and growth and while I have enjoyed my time spent abroad, I crave more. Where have I been? Peru. Nicaragua. Costa Rica. India. France. Where will I go...? I have several countries on my wish list that include Cuba, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Iceland and the Netherlands. Stay tuned to where I end up!

I truly believe in the power of speaking your truths into the universe. My psych degree forces me to align this with the idea of 'self-fulfilling prophecy' but think of this as you like, but know that I think it's an unbelievable real thing.

I urge you to reflect on 2017 and truly celebrate your wins, big and small. And then, set your intentions for the New Year. We have traveled the long journey around the sun and now we start once more. Make something happen. What will it be?

xx, Candice

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Meg’s Christmas Traditions

Meg’s Christmas Traditions

Every Christmas my family packs our car up to the roof with gifts and snow gear then drives up to Ohio to spend the holiday with family. I look forward to this little road trip of ours every year…eight hours in the car with your family might seem like a nightmare to some, but around this time of year, it truly feels magical.

One of my family traditions for Christmas is that we always open presents with my Mom’s side of the family on Christmas Eve. My Grandmother is Polish, and she tells us that it is a Polish tradition, but of course my Grandpa tries to take credit and says it’s an Italian tradition. Wherever it originated, it's always fun getting to open presents before anyone else. My family also consists of a couple of jokesters, so Dirty Santa is another tradition of ours. I once got a beautifully wrapped roll of toilet paper. Thanks, Uncle Matt...

Whatever your family's tradition, or if you have no tradition at all, this holiday season is a great time to spend with loved ones (this is me and my sister in the pic). Wishing everyone a merry, merry Christmas, and a very happy New Year!

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Must Read | Why Buy Farm-Fresh Eggs?

Must Read | Why Buy Farm-Fresh Eggs?

Sometimes we don't know why things cost what they do...we get used to trying to find the cheapest price, but that's not always the best policy for the environment, economy or workers who dedicate their time. Just like we'd ask you to think twice about buying a $2.98 tank top from Forever 21 (at what cost is this shirt so inexpensive?), we ask you to consider why are those mass-produced dozen eggs only $1.99. There are huge positive environmental and animal welfare impacts by supporting smaller farmers who raise free-range eggs, as well as benefits to your health. Read more about this topic via this HuffPost article and we hope you'll feel good about spending a few extra bucks on your eggs.

Photo credit: Sara Coffin Photography at Funny Girl Farm

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Happy Birthday Chicken Boy!

Happy Birthday Chicken Boy!

I first learned of Chicken Boy on Food52’s recent podcast and immediately became smitten. Part man, part chicken, this 22-foot-tall fiberglass figure stands atop the Future Studio Design & Gallery – how did I not know about this quirky Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles?

Chicken Boy was first installed atop a fried chicken restaurant in downtown Los Angeles on Broadway (also Historic Route 66) between 4th and 5th streets, near the Grand Central Market in the 1960s. At that time, International Fiberglass Company, in Venice, California, was manufacturing the more familiar roadside Paul Bunyan and Muffler Man statues for use as outdoor advertising. The Los Angeles chicken restaurant bought one and hired an artist to customize it. A chicken head was fabricated to replace the man's head. The arms were re-worked to face forward and hold a bucket, rather than as the axe-wielding original.

Once the restaurant closed in 1983, the avian hybrid’s future was uncertain, but thanks to the efforts of local artist Amy Inouye, who had long admired the whimsical chimera, the iconic figure was saved from the scrapheap. After much lobbying and an attempt to have the figure entered into a museum, Inouye was finally granted custody, and the homeless Chicken Boy was placed in storage, awaiting a new home. Unfortunately a suitable place was not found for two decades.

In 2007, Chicken Boy’s days in storage ended when he was placed in his current location with the vigilance of Inouye, help of volunteers and donations. He is still a celebrated piece of LA strangeness that is beloved by many and today is his birthday, which we couldn’t let go unnoticed – Happy birthday Chicken Boy!

I plan on paying him a visit one day soon and you can too. Chicken Boy is securely perched on the rooftop of Amy’s gallery located at 5558 North Figueroa Street.

This blog post features info. from Atlas Obscura and Wikipedia.

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Small Farm Saturday | Funny Girl Farm

Small Farm Saturday | Funny Girl Farm

In Durham, NC there is sweeping, beautiful acreage right off the highway where Funny Girl Farm calls home. In addition to growing a variety of non-GMO vegetables, they raise heirloom chicken breeds that spend their days on fresh pasture enjoying worms, seeds, bugs and weeds. FGF’s hens lay their eggs and sleep in a portable “egg-mobile,” which is moved throughout various pastures; employing this method, they’re able to provide a healthy environment for both the birds and the land. Their eggs are sold to local restaurants, like Andrea Reusing's The Durham and direct to consumers at the FGF farm stand at 504 Erwin Road. We’re excited to share that FGF has a retired hen adoption program. Chickens can live 8 to 10 years and by the time they reach this age they are rarely laying. If you’re interested in adopting a four year old hen as a pet and giving her a second lease on life, fill out FGF’s form here. They’ve successfully found homes for more than 100 hens, but there are still several dozen available for adoption, so we encourage you to contact them. 

Photo credit: Sara Coffin Photography for Loyale

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Must Read | The Underground Chefs of South LA

Must Read | The Underground Chefs of South LA

It's refreshing to come across uplifting and insightful stories about chefs we've never heard of that are owed their due. This California Sunday Magazine article by Lara Rabinovitch, accompanied by vivid photographs by Oriana Koren, does just that; it whisks you into an intriguing world where elbow grease, MacGyver-style rigged kitchens and family influences rule the day. Bravo California Sunday Magazine team for a brilliant read!

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#Classicnotbasic

#Classicnotbasic

To dispatch our new hashtag that briefly epitomizes Loyale’s slogan, Premium Everyday Essentials, we’re spotlighting an iconic culinary favorite - roast chicken. So simple and yet if handled correctly, it can be transcendent and unforgettable. Classics are deceptively basic, but there are subtle distinctions that make all the difference. Same goes with fashion, if the best ‘ingredients’ are used and executed with care, a simple garment is elevated and becomes your go-to, can’t live without wardrobe essential. Because classic is not basic, we’ve adopted the #classicnotbasic hashtag and we’re sharing one of our favorite chicken recipes from the lovable and revered, Jacques Pépin (aka le grand-père of transforming elementary ingredients into culinary classics).   

Classic Roast Chicken
Browning the bird helps prevent the skin from tearing later on. Roasting it at a high temperature crisps the skin as it protects the flesh, keeping it moist. And cooking the chicken on its side helps the legs, which usually take longer than the breast, cook faster, and also keeps the breast moist.

Ingredients

  • 1 3 1/2 lbs chicken (preferably organic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions
Take your chicken out of the fridge at least 45 minutes before you start roasting it. If it's still refrigerator-cold when you put it in the oven, your cooking time will be longer, and your chicken won't be as tender. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Ensure the chicken is dry inside and out; wipe with paper towels if needed. Sprinkle the chicken inside and out with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet until it is hot but not smoking. Place the chicken on its side in the skillet and brown it over medium-high heat for about 2½ minutes. Turn the chicken over and brown it on the other side for 2½ minutes. Place the skillet, with the chicken still on its side, in the oven and roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken onto its other side and roast for another 20 minutes. Finally, turn the chicken onto its back, baste it with the fat that has emerged during cooking, and roast for 20 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads between 150 and 160 degrees. Remove the chicken from the oven and place it, breast side down to keep the breast meat moist, on a platter. Wait 15 minutes before carving to let the juices settle; don’t cover the bird with foil after it is roasted, or it will steam and taste reheated.

This recipe is from Jacques Pépin’s recent book, Poulet & Légumes.

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