Keep this between you and I, but I kind of like it when my husband leaves town for a few days. We were married just 9 months ago so you might think I would be lonely. It’s just that I need some “me” time.  Don’t you??

I actually think that everybody needs a little “me” time. For women, that can be especially difficult. We are raised to be caretakers, and put everyone else’s needs ahead of our own. But taking quiet time to ourselves actually helps us to be better mothers, wives lovers, and friends. So don’t feel guilty about scheduling in some quality time with yourself!!

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Last week, I sat down with to talk about how I spend my time alone and how I keep it flavorful. Click HERE to watch my short interview and spend a little time with me in the kitchen as I create a satisfying me-time meal!! (See below for full recipes).

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Candied Walnut and Beet Salad

Serves 1

1 cup walnuts

¼ cup maple syrup

1 red beet, scrubbed

1 yellow beet, scrubbed

1 bunch watercress

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

A few sprigs of fresh dill

Set a small skillet over medium heat. Add walnuts and drizzle with maple syrup. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes until walnuts are fully coated with the syrup and caramelized. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

Thinly slice beets on a mandoline (or, if you don’t have one, use a very sharp knife).

Make sure watercress is clean and very dry. Arrange watercress on a plate. Top with sliced beets. Season with salt and pepper.

Dress the composed salad lightly with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with gorgonzola and fresh dill. Serve immediately.

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Savory Carrot Soup

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped

2 apples, cored, peeled, and chopped

1 onion, peeled and chopped

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 teaspoon smoked cinnamon *
(Smoked Cinnamon is a unique form of the popular spice with a distinct flavor that will give your soup a real zing! Buy it here by clicking on the link.)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Salt and pepper, to taste

A few sprigs fresh cilantro for garnish

Heat butter and oil in a medium size soup pot over medium heat.

Add carrots, apples, onion, garlic, and ginger.

Sauté for 10 min or until softened. Add stock and spices.

Let simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes, or until all ingredients are soft enough to puree.

Purée in batches in a blender, or with an immersion blender right in the pot. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

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If you want to learn how to make dishes like these with me in my kitchen, sign up for one of our Flirting With Flavors Cooking Classes!! The next class is just for men… Bringing Cupid Into Your Kitchen: Cooking For Your Valentine.