You can count Nikki Kaapke as another female cast member whose dating life has sadly suffered after appearing on The Bachelor. She explained to us why that is when we spoke at a Bachelor reunion and Bachelor Pad 2 casting event in NYC on Saturday, January 29.

The surprisingly verbose castoff from Jason Mesnick’s season also talked about her new career as a cookbook author, and told us which three women she believed would be the last ones standing on Brad’s season.

Credit: Kevin Foley/ABC Photo: Nikki Kaapke Promo Photo

Wetpaint: What’s life been like since Bachelor Pad?
Nikki Kaapke: Crazy! I’m from Chicago, so I came back home, went back to my job, but then I realized I can cook, and I decided to start a blog, and it grew into a website, and now I have a cookbook coming out. I started my own cooking company called The Dekadent Diva, and we have a launch party coming out June 11th at Soldier Field, the Bears’ stadium. So a lot of our Bachelor family is coming in for support. It’s really taking off!

WP: What was your experience like on Bachelor Pad?
Nikki: I loved it! I was probably one of the few people who actually knew everyone in the house, so I knew all the boys. The only people I didn’t know were, like, Peyton and Gwen. Everyone else I knew. I knew Krissily from past experience in pageant world. But it was awesome. For the most part, it’s stressful because it’s like living with your family 24/7 — you can’t escape. You have the good and the bad, and there’s nowhere to go. Ninety-five percent of the time, I would totally do it again.

WP: What’s dating been like for you since the shows?
Nikki: Dating since Bachelor has not made things easier.

WP: No?
Nikki: No! You’d think it would, just because you’ve been on The Bachelor, and everyone might know who you are. But it’s bad just because you might meet a great guy, things are going well, and then once you meet their mom or their sister or some female in their life, they’re like, “Where do I know you?” And, “Oh, you’re Nikki from the…” And then, the guy goes running away.

WP: Is that right?
Nikki: Yes! For some reason, it’s not anything to do with me, it’s just they think that they become a part of this world, and they don’t like it or can’t understand it, and they go.

WP: So any regrets about doing the show?
Nikki: I kinda lost friends because of it, some years’ worth of relationships have dwindled because they don’t understand it, or they haven’t been supportive, or unfortunately they’ve admitted to being jealous. So it is what it is.

WP: Are you watching the current season?
Nikki: Yes, actually. I love Brad — I think it’s great that he got to come back and give himself a second shot. At first, a lot of people were disdained by it, they didn’t really root for him. But then you get to see that he’s grown.

WP: He seems changed.
Nikki: Yes, immensely. I’m rooting for him, and I think that he’s got three great girls he might pick. I love Chantal O.

WP: Me, too. She’s great.
Nikki: Oh, my God. She seems amazing. I love Jackie — I think she’s really sweet.

WP: I did, too. I don’t know if she’s right for him.
Nikki: Yeah, she’s different. She’s not the typical Barbie that comes through. And then you’ve got Emily, who — no matter what — everyone loves her.

WP: So you’ve got the cookbook coming out. Did you know you could cook before that?
Nikki: I did it for fun, just ‘cause I like to do it. It’s kind of a stress-reliever, and I make up things as I go. But then when I did Bachelor, there’s nothing else to do but lay out or drink or see The Bachelor. So to keep my time busy, I would cook for the girls, and they loved it, and then when I came back for the Bachelor Pad, I cooked for all the boys, and they’ll tell you that they loved it, and everyone was like, “You should do something when you come back home — get a show or get a book or something.” And eventually, somebody tried my food, and they happened to be a publisher and loved it and offered me a deal. So I took it.

WP: Congrats! Do you have a favorite moment from the show?
Nikki: Oh, my God! There are so many. Bachelor Pad, it would have to be with the boys. There was a time where Kovacs and Good — they get really slap-happy when they’re tired — and they’re just telling the funniest jokes and impersonations of each other. Bachelor-wise, there’s a time when we were cooking, and one of the girls on my season — he name is Raquel [Medeiros] — she cooked risotto with red wine. It was more like, “Do you want risotto with your red wine?” because it was so strong, and all the girls got drunk off of it.