Pinterest Review- Protein Ranch

I was intrigued when I saw this pin:

Protein Ranch Dressing

I pinned it quite a while ago, but never got around to trying it. I finally tried it this past week. I had Chef Salad on the menu, and thought it was the perfect time to try it.
But for some reason, I feel like I should explain something before I go on.  I love ranch dressing. Probably more than the average person. And I don’t just love it. I get annoyed…. almost angry, when I go out to eat, order a salad, and the ranch tastes like crap.  It’s a huge disappointment to me, and a lot of times, will dictate whether or not I will ever return to said restaurant. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s the truth.  Red Robin and Idaho Pizza have good ranch.  I can depend on them every single time.  Other places… not so much.  I almost want to ask for a sample before I waste my money on a salad. BLUH!

That being said….

I got all the ingredients, there’s only three; cottage cheese,  ranch seasoning, and milk. You put them in a blender and  that’s that.   (Don’t you love my  Clean Shower bottle?  It’s so old, but really strong bottle, so I’ve kept it and use it over and over again. I forgot to put it away though!)

It looked pretty good. I liked how thick it was!  Definitely off to a good start. And the whole blender thing was pretty quick. I made this on a soccer practice night, and we had to go pick up a team mate, so I needed quick.

I put together our salads. In disposable bowls. We were eating on the go. This picture will forever be a reminder that I once ate my dinner out of a red solo bowl! Booo!  But in my defense, at least I did not buy them! Jason’s mother brings me disposable dishes every time she comes over for a dinner. She insist we eat of them so I don’t have to do dishes! I hate feeling so wasteful!  Most of the time I use my own dishes anyways, but she often leaves them here. So I was lazy, and I used them.  Most of the time they are used for paint, or stain, or something like that. Whoo, I’m glad I got that off my chest!

But back to the dressing, you can see just how thick it is! I probably should have added a tad more milk, but like I said, I was in a hurry. Whenever we have Chef Salad, I always pick my veggies off, like I have a veggie plate, so the thick dressing was kind of nice for this salad, but if it was a traditional salad, thinner would have been better.

The Verdict?

Well this is kind of hard.  It was decent. I used a ranch packet brand I had never used before. I usually use the Hidden Valley packet, but I’m trying to get away from weird preservatives and junk, so I bought an organic brand that only has a few ingredients.  That alone was a big difference.  I did not care for that brand. I loved the texture, and creaminess of it. I will definitely try it again with my regular Hidden Valley. If I can find a recipe that tastes VERY similar to Hidden Valley, I will try it with that.  I will post an update to this when I try it again.

Pinterest Review- Baking Soda

Source

While searching Pinterest, I often see this pin. It claims that you can use baking soda as a weed killer. I am a huge fan of baking soda for a couple reasons.
1: It’s cheap
2: It’s not unhealthy, and safe for everyone in my family
3: It has about 3 billion uses

So, after searching, and reading all about the weed killer claim,  I have to admit I was a little nervous. It says it will neutralize the soil, and I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to risk that.

Well, after a few weeks of mulling it over, I kept coming back to my side flower bed. I have rubber bark, and weed barrier in that bed, but the neighbors grass loves to come under the fence and grow in my flower bed. On a side note, I am not a big fan or believer in weed barrier. Jason insisted, and I let him do it, but I have to pick weeds ALL. THE. TIME. Such an invaluable tool, huh? A majority of those weeds I have to pick is grass. It drives me bonkers!

Not the greatest picture, but you can sort of see in the center of the bottom of the photo, my rock  boarder. The grass has totally overtaken it. And along the fence is awful too. I try to keep up with the grass, but sometimes it just gets out of control, and it takes days for me to get the whole flower bed. I’ll start one day, and do a few feet, a few more the next, and so on, only having to start all over at the beginning.   Behind my Coneflower on the left, you can see the grass gets much thicker. As the summer goes on, and my flowers get bigger it makes it even more difficult to get that aggressive grass. When I do pull the grass/weeds, they almost always break off at the ground level. I have to pull out my hand trowel to get the whole weed, but if you’ve ever tried to pull grass, you know the root system is pretty extensive, and is impossible to get rid it it. Plus, considering this grass is coming from our neighbors healthy yard, I don’t see it stopping just because I pulled it. (At ground level.)

You can also see why I was hesitant to try this experiment. The boarder, and the fence is very close to my flower.  I love my pretty flower!  I would be sad if it died! It would be even more heartbreaking it I was the one who killed it! But, after some thinking about it, and careful planning, I went for it.

I pulled out my trusty Baking Soda. I seriously use this for all sorts of stuff! Love.

I was very careful to not get it within 6-8 inches of the base of my flower. I wasn’t sure if that was still to close, but I had to try! As you can see I had two annoying dandelions on the inside of the flower bed, so I shook a little extra soda on those. You can also see I’m a compulsive weed picker, and I picked one even though I was running a test on a weed killer! I just had to. Sorry.

You can see in the circles where the dandelions turned black (left one), and the leaves got crunchy (right one). This was about a day and a half later. I was shocked to see it worked so fast.  In the before picture you can see that there was some brown grass under the green. That is because a lot of times when I pull the grass I leave it there to work back into the soil. The photo does a poor job at showing this, but there is actually more brown grass in the second picture.  I didn’t pull any of the grass in the area I sprinkled the baking soda. I raked it back with my hands!  The roots were dying. Amazing! The dandelion’s roots are still in the ground so we will see how that plays out in the next few weeks, but the leaves being black a day later was awesome.

A crumby, fuzzy picture of the black dandelion.

AFTER:

You can see my rock boarder again!!  All of the grass along the fence is gone. (In that spot)  To show the difference between hand pulling, and the baking soda:

This is behind the Coneflower. You can see where the grass is just ripped off at ground level, and will be out of control within a week.   I am looking forward to seeing how long lasting the baking soda lasts.  I do plan on continuing along the rock boarder, and the fence, but I’ll have to pay close attention to not sprinkle any of my lovely flowers. It’s late fall now, but I’m curious to see how this would have worked over the summer months if applied in the spring? I will need to do an update on this post in the future.

Initial results?  SUCCESS!

So how about you?  Have you ever used baking soda as a week killer?  Was it successful? How long does it last? Any tips?

Here is a glance at the work ahead: