kolaches, y’all

There are few things I miss about Texas; kolaches are one of them. For the uninitiated, kolaches are savory pastries of Czech origin that resemble large pigs in a blanket. Kolaches have a rich history in Texas. According to Edible Austin:

These tasty morsels arrived in Texas along with the tens of thousands of Czech immigrants who came through the port of Galveston in the 1850s through the early 1900s. Determined to farm, these new Texans settled mainly in the coastal plain and rich blackland areas of Central Texas, setting up the churches and fraternal organizations that ended up doing such a good job of preserving their heritage. By the latter half of the 20th century, celebrations of Czech culture and the kolache—among them Westfest, in West, and the Caldwell’s Kolache Festival—had become popular annual events.

These days, you can find kolaches in any Texan bakery. Feeling inspired by a friend who made her own kolaches, I decided to bake some one night. To save time, I opted for a can of Pillsbury Crescents, but you can certainly make your own dough. Here’s the recipe I used (makes 8 kolaches):

1 can of Pillsbury Butter Flake Crescents
1 pack of Nathan’s mini hot dogs (any sausage or meat substitute will do!)
1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese
1/3 cup of sliced jalopeños

1. Roll out pre-made dough and cut into 8 equal rectangles on a baking pan, lined with parchment paper
2. Sprinkle each piece of dough with cheese
3. Place 1-2 mini hot dogs on each piece
4. Pop on a jalopeño slice or two per kolache
5. Fold over and knead the dough to seal up the pastry
6. Bake according to the instructions on your premade dough can

Kolaches make for excellent breakfasts on-the-go and fulfilling midnight snacks!

be well,


Wanna decorate your skin? Quick advice for tattoos & piercings!

Of course, body adornment in the form of piercings and tattoos is a centuries-old practice in many cultures, but it seems to be having a particular *moment* with our generation right now. Big or small, greyscale or in color, tattoos and piercings (t/p) can decorate any skin, and luckily for us, there’s tons of options in New York City for places to get embellished. BUT, before we get to some recommendations from Peer Eds + friends, here’s a short list of things to consider when researching a t/p shop:

  • make sure you’re comfortable in the space! If that requires going to visit before you actually get your t/p, go visit! In the same vein, if you step inside and something feels off, it may be worth coming back another day or trying a different shop all together.
  • ask any and all questions you may have! Of course, tattoos are generally more permanent than piercings, but any respectable and professional t/p artist will be more than happy to answer your questions. You’re marking your body and should feel in complete control of the situation. If after getting your questions answered, you feel unsure about something, take a moment to consider if you still want to go through with the t/p that day.
  • take a friend with you! This is clearly not a requirement, but bringing a good friend along (whose taste you trust) can help with those judgement calls and lingering questions you may forget if you’re feeling a bit anxious about going through with the t/p.
  • especially for tattoos, don’t be afraid to ask them to re-place the trace more than once! Once they lay the design on you, take as long as you want to check it out from different angles in the mirror — if you don’t like it, tell them why and ask if they’ll try again!
  • follow after-care instructions (with some caveats)! Every body is different and will respond to different modes of care, but generally if you go to a reputable shop, their recommendations for how to care for your t/p in the weeks following your appointment will be pretty on-point. Also, ask friends with similar t/p placements what did or did not work for them.

If you’ve been thinking about getting a piercing or tattoo since coming to Barnard, you’ve probably heard of the infamous St. Mark’s Place in the East Village. Although there are certainly some skeevy t/p establishments to be found on St. Mark’s, there are also quite a few respectable spots. Keep in mind that many reputable t/p shops will be a bit pricier, especially in New York, so consider what kind of investment you’re willing to make for the t/p you’ve chosen, and you’ll likely receive the care you pay for.

Here are the names of a few shops recommended by Peer Eds and friends of Well-Woman:

Jewels 32 — St. Mark’s

Sacred Tattoo — Soho

The End is Near — Park Slope (Brooklyn)

NY Adorned — East Village

This post is by no means exhaustive in terms of information on safe t/p, “best” t/p shops in New York, or what to do when your grandmother asks what that blob on your arm is, but rather is intended to give ideas on what to keep in mind when planning for a new t/p! If you have a t/p, new or old, that is giving you problems or seems infected, take a visit to Primary Care and have someone look at it or call your tattoo/piercer for advice. As always, Peer Eds are available to answer questions and help you track down resources, we want you to be decorated well!



P.S. Here‘s a tumblr from the Association of Professional Piercers featuring tons beautiful and safe piercings.

The Last 13 Feminist Bookstores in the U.S. and Canada

As much as I love Portlandia’s take on the feminist bookshop, I worry that what they reference will soon be extinct. The following article lists the 13 remaining self-proclaimed feminist bookstores in North America, a significant drop from the 120 in the mid-1990s. Maybe your hometown is on the list!


If you want to check out one in New York, Bluestockings is a “volunteer-powered and collectively-owned radical bookstore, fair trade cafe, and activist center” (bluestockings.com) on 172 Allen Street. It’s open 11AM to 11PM daily, so stop by for a fresh cup of coffee and a new book!


Cauliflower Soup!

Now that temperatures have been dipping into the frigid 60’s, I think it’s appropriate break out recipes for the most comforting (in my opinion) of cold-weather foods: soup! I made this cauliflower soup over the summer, and although my cooking skills are roughly on par with those of a tiny furry non-opposable-thumbed creature, it turned out wonderfully.

Silky Cauliflower Soup (tastes great without the crisps too)

All you need is a head of cauliflower, salt, pepper, some garlic, maybe an onion, some sort of stock and access to a blender. It’s also creamy without having any dairy in it, and I made a vegan version by using vegetable stock and omitting the parmesan.

If you’re a fan of soups, I also recommend checking out Caroline’s creamy tomato soup!

Some Things You May Have Not Known About Transgender Issues

Hello everyone! My friend Emily Roche wrote a great piece in the NYU Local for those who may not know much about trans issues. It exposes some day-to-day problems people who are trans and gender non-conforming face on college campuses. She touches on topics like violence, housing, bathrooms, and PGPs (preferred gender pronouns) as well as providing tips on how to get on the road toward inclusive allyship. Also, I was quoted in it! 😉  Check it out!


Happy Fall 2014!

Welcome–and welcome back–to Barnard! We’re so thrilled to be starting another semester, and are already looking forward to helping our community to “be well” this year. Over the summer we spruced up the office, purchased some awesome new books (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, Trans Bodies Trans Selves, An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, Redefining Realness, Bossypants, and Hyperbole and a Half to name a few!), renewed our favorite magazine subscriptions (to titles like Vegetarian Times, Ms, Bust, and Yoga Journal), and started to prep for the new year. Our regular programming and special events will be starting up soon, and in the meantime the office is open for both staff (Monday–Friday, 1-4pm) and peer educator (Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 7-9pm) drop-in hours. Stop by to check out our space, browse our resources, have a cup of tea, use the massage chair,  talk and learn about health and wellness issues, and just relax in our comfy space!

2014-2015 Peer Eds

our awesome 14-15 peer eds, minus two.