Kelly Ripa's Date Nights Usually End in Top Chef

12/16/2009 at 05:45 PM EST

Kelly Ripa's Date Nights Usually End in Top Chef
Kelly Ripa

Kelly Ripa

Kelly Ripa

As a busy mom of three and a TV personality, Kelly Ripa doesn't have much time for romance. But when the occasion calls for it, she and husband Mark Consuelos make sure to dive right into a stimulating night of – cooking shows.

"A date night for us is watching Top Chef," Ripa, 39, tells Redbook in its January issue, out Dec. 22. "A date night for us is getting our kids asleep before 9:30! It's really just about checking in, asking how the other person's day is, and cuddling up. It doesn't have to lead to anything, although it usually does. But it doesn't have to."

Of course, it's a big change from when they started out in what was admittedly a stormy marriage, she says.

"The first year of marriage is so tough, and we fought constantly, these tiny things becoming big accusations," she says. "Then we looked at each other one day and said, 'We're in this for the long haul, so let's make it fun.' "

Ripa, who has battled breakup rumors before, says splitting up is not an option.

"We argue, but we have an allegiance to each other, and we have beautiful children, and from what I hear, divorce sucks," she says. "It's something I think I have the fortitude for."

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