How are we already almost into March?! I feel like 2018 is in warp speed and I'm always in catch up mode wondering where all the time went. Do you ever feel like that? (You're a total liar if you say NO by the way lol). This week has been filled with workouts, The Bachelor hometown dates, "stuffed" type recipes (soon to come, I gotta get some photo editing done!), recipe photography disaster sessions, haircuts & a 5à7 with my bestie (that's happy hour in Montreal terms ;) ).
But let's first talk about The Bachelor hometown dates. With an un-enthusiastic heart, I watched this week as Arie met the final 4 women's families. Let's start with quirky Kendall. Obviously we all anticipated that she'd be doing something related to taxidermy, like showing Arie her personal collection. BUT I was so shocked & so grossed out by the making of taxidermy part. SERIOUSLY?! It gave me the heebee-geebies BIG TIME, and I immediately just cut Kendall from the list. Nu-uh, this girl just isn't for Arie (or me, if I was him). I was having snacks at the time, and almost threw up in my mouth. Besides that, meeting the family and her twin sister, who was feeling everyone's energies, determined that Kendall just wasn't ready for marriage at that point, which left me wondering why Arie was wasting his time with her....he felt that hesitation too, so ????
Next up was Wiener girl Tia. Sweet, beautiful Tia was falling in love with Arie, and after a day of racing on the track, they went home to meet the southern family. Her brother was THE BEST - he just straight up started the convo with "So I heard you were a pretty boy, the Kissing Bandit, so I need you to prove me wrong RIGHT NOW!" No pressure Arie, and Hey we just met! Hilarious! It totally caught him off guard, and I can't even remember how he answered it...
Overall, the date seemed to go well and Ty and I both thought she had the most chemistry with Arie, like a solid 6/10! Which tells you what we think of the connection of the remaining girls lol.
Then there was Becca. Still don't really get their connection, but somehow the family loved him. Wait I'm totally forgetting the details of this date.....maybe because it was THAT un-memorable...maybe it's because during this date I spilled my wine all over the floor and broke one of my fave wine glasses. I'm not sure what I'm more sad about - the lost wine, the broken glass, or the mediocre relationship between Becca and Arie.... obv the wine!.
Last up was lovely Lauren. He's a bit smitten with her, and she seemed pretty excited to see him too. She had planned a romantic date of riding horses on the beach. That's still a bucket list item for me so good on ya Lauren! Then they got ready to meet the Military Family. Arie was uber nervous, as he should have been, and when they met they had THE most awkward set up in the living room. Lauren + Arie sitting what seemed like a chasm distance from the rest of the fam who just seemed to stare at them. Awkward! Then they go have dinner, and Arie excuses himself to go towel off the incredible amount of sweat dripping down his face - nervous much? I think that's when I knew he really liked Lauren. Or he was just terrified of talking with the dad?
The conversation with dad was hands down my fave part of the episode. They sit down and you just know dad is going to GRILL HIM being an army guy who wants to protect his daughter. But then Arie pulls an ace out of his sleeve when he tells dad that he went to Iraq to see the soldiers and toured around with other racing buddies to support them. In that moment you could see dad was just like "Welcome to the family!" and fell in love with Arie more than I think Lauren did. Way to go Arie, you totally crushed that meeting with the fam!!
In the end, Arie struggled to choose between Kendall and Tia, but sent Tia packing. Shocking! Knowing that Kendall isn't ready for a proposal, he took the risk anyways. Ballsy I tells ya! Still feeling like I'm waiting to really feel some electricity develop between any of these couples, but I might be waiting on baited breath. Sigh!
Let's see if the over night dates spark some deeper connection between these peeps next week. Until then, here's a hearty chili recipe to warm your belly!
Slow-Cooker Chili Con Carne
Prep Time: 20min | Cook Time: 6+hours | Total Time: 6hr 20min | Makes: 8 servings
1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
750 grams extra lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 red Bell peppers, deveined & chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled & chopped
2 - 15 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 - 15 oz can kidney beans
1 - 8 oz can sweet corn
1 chili pepper, deveined, seeds removed, and diced (optional)
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1-3 teaspoons chili powder (to taste - some chili powder is mild while others are super spicy, so easy does it!
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Fresh cilantro, as garnish
Sour cream (optional; omit if you want it dairy-free)
Crusty french baguette (optional, omit if you want it gluten-free)
In a large skillet/frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot add the onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.
Add the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic, and continue cooking until meat is completely browned, about 6-8 minutes.
Transfer meat into the slow-cooker, then add the peppers, carrots, canned tomatoes, kidney beans, corn, chili pepper (if using), and spices. Season with a bit more sea salt, to taste.
Cook on low for 6 or more hours. I love making this on a Saturday morning before we head out to our activities for the day, and then coming home to a hot, hearty meal!