Wednesday, February 15, 2012

All You Need Is Love

We had a very eventful Valentine's Day at the Tullman house. Tuesday is the day Andrew has to stay a little later at work, so I had a lot of time to plan the perfect evening for my hubby. First, I woke up and went to hot yoga in Albemarle. I hadn't practiced yoga in months and I have been eager to find a studio nearby. Thankfully, I didn't have to resort to driving all the way to Charlotte, because I found a hidden gem about 20 minutes away. Sitting in downtown Albemarle is an old house that has been renovated into a really special yoga studio.

There is one large room (which I am assuming was at one time the sitting room, or living room) with beautiful hard wood floors and a mural above an old fire place that reads "Be the change you want to see in the world" (one of my favorite quotes by Gandhi). A really amazing woman, Cindy, owns the studio and I was lucky enough to have her as my instructor. Overall, it was one of the best yoga experiences I have ever had. There were only two other women in the class with me and they immediately extended warmth and friendship. I cannot wait to go back! I might even branch out and try something other than hot yoga.

Now, back to my Valentine's Day planning for Andrew. I really wanted to make Andrew a very special meal, since I had been receiving gifts all week. The first present I received was my friend Edgar Allan Poe.

The second present I received was a set of silver, antique inspired, art nouveau make-up brushes that I have been swooning over for weeks.

These brushes are amazing. They are fairly heavy and have a lot of detail carved into the handle. It is kind of hard tell from the photo, but the top is a woman with her head leaning back, holding a ring of blooming flowers around her neck. Yesterday I used them for the first time and I loved the way my make-up looked and felt. This will be something really cool to pass down if I have a daughter.

As you can see, I really needed to step up my game after receiving these great gifts! Luckily, I did some research earlier in the week and knew ahead of time what I wanted to cook Andrew for our Valentine's Day dinner. I'll admit that I was a little ambitious and decided to go with heart shaped ravioli made from scratch. I had never made pasta at home before, but I found some easy to follow recipes and went for it. I only encountered one hiccup and that was trying to locate some semolina in and around Oakboro. I drove into Locust, back to Oakboro, over to Albemarle, and back to Locust. NO one had any semolina. So, I had to move to plan B: making the ravioli using basic all purpose flour. I found a recipe that called for a few cups of flour and some egg yolks. After working with the dough and adding more flour, some water, another egg...I finally found the right consistency and started to knead. I kneaded the dough for 10 minutes, then let it sit covered for 20. Thankfully it turned out perfect! I was able to roll out the dough until it was paper thin and used a cookie cutter to make the hearts. Here is a photo of my work in progress:

I was really happy with the turn out! For the filling I mix sauteed spinach, bread crumbs, Parmesan, grainy mustard, nut meg, a sprinkle of salt and pepper. The mixture could be molded into little balls, which made it easy to fill each heart. Then all I had to do was drop 3 at a time in big pot of boiling water for a few minutes. Here is the finished product:

For desert I decided to go with something a bit lighter. I found a delicious recipe for pears poached in honey and ginger and then drizzled with melted dark chocolate. Yum!

And of course no Valentine's Day is complete without a homemade card!

I think it's fair to say that our first Valentine's Day as a married couple was a huge success. I hope everyone was feeling the love yesterday!

*You can find the recipe for the ravioli filling here.
*You can find tips on making the dough without semolina here.
*And For an easy desert of poached pears check here.


  1. Hi, I loved reading this. I was wondering, do you know where the person who gifted you the silver, antique inspired, art nouveau make-up brushes bought them from? Or perhaps, what the set of brushes are called? I'd really appreciate the reply! Thanks!