Nice Courgette Sticks, A Nice Snail, A Nice Clean House, and a Nice Wish!

When we first moved to Andorra we had a neighbor, an American woman, who loved to clean.  Rather than go for a walk in the mountains on a beautiful spring day she wanted to stay home and clean her already immaculate house. Sorry, but is that sick or what?

I love having a clean house; I just hate to clean.

I don’t mind doing the surface stuff: I’ll hoover once a week or so, do a bit of dusting now and then.  (Both necessary with two big fluffy dogs in the house.)  It’s the serious cleaning that I hate.  The crawling into the corner under the stairs, moving all the furniture, getting the bugs out of the light fixtures type of cleaning.

It’s creepy.  With an old house you never know what you’re going to find.  But I sucked it  up and spent the weekend doing the spring cleaning…2006 spring cleaning.  No sense rushing it; it’s not like it’s going to STAY cleaned, now is it?!

SnailinbowlLast year I found a monster spider in the bottom of a glass vase.  I very bravely (for me) decided I could dump him out.  I got half way to the door and the bloody thing moved!  Scared the crap out of me.  I set the vase down where I stood and waited for mon mari to come and ‘set it free’ (from this mortal coil).

Look what I found this year.  He was in a bowl on the shelf under my prep island, tucked back in the corner.  I have no idea how he got there…. but it’s certain proof that I don’t use pesticides in my garden, isn’t it!

I took him out to my herb garden.  Does that qualify me as nice?

I’ve been called a lot of things in my checkered past; nice hasn’t often been one of them.  (An employee once complained about me to mon mari, calling me a ‘first class bitch’.   He said “I know, that’s why I married her.”)Nice

Apparently  I’ve mellowed with age (and good wine).  Red hot Tanna, of  My Kitchen in Half Cups, has dubbed me Nice!

I heartily agree with this concept:  Nice does matter!

It’s easier to be nice than to be nasty (although nasty has it’s own rewards…); when it bounces back (as it always will) it’s much better to be hit with a nice rebound than a nasty one;  and a little bit goes a long way to brighten the days of everyone it touches.

So, thank you, Tanna, that was really sweet and, well, nice!

This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded, please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award.

Now for the best part:  I get to pass this award on to 7 other deserving, nice bloggers.  I couldn’t possibly get the list down to 7 but, rules are rules… so I did what Tanna did: I picked 7 and it’s up to them to pass it on to the rest 😉

Chris at Mele Cotte
Simona at Briciole
The Passionate Palate
Nora at Life’s Smörgåsbord
Ulrike at Kuchenlatein
Margot at Coffee & Vanilla
Truffle at What’s On My Plate

Each of you, please, pass this on to 7 nice bloggers….

On a final note: Who hasn’t had enough zucchini yet?  Huh?  Speak up?  Okay, one more.

Baked Courgette (Zucchini) Sticks

     The idea for this came jointly from my recipe scrapbook and a blog I love, Kalyn’s Kitchen.
1 medium zucchini, green or yellow
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 egg
2 tbs dry bread crumbs
1/2 tsp Fines Herbes
2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese


Wash zucchini and slice off stem and blossom ends. Cut it in half or thirds the short way. You want pieces 2 – 3 ” long (5 – 8cm). Cut each section into sticks about 5/8″ (1cm) square. They won’t all be perfect, coming from a round vegetable, but close is good. In a flattish bowl whisk the mustard and the egg together. In another flattish bowl or plate mix the crumbs and cheese together. Roll the zucchini sticks in the egg, then the crumbs. Place on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake at 400F (200C) for 35 – 40 minutes, until coating starts to brown. Remove and serve.

And remember: Be Nice!

Actually, wouldn’t it be nice if a group of strangers came and cleaned my house?  Extremely unlikely…but nice….

35 thoughts on “Nice Courgette Sticks, A Nice Snail, A Nice Clean House, and a Nice Wish!”

  1. Great little story! One never knows what is lurking in the closet. I am sure he is happier back into his own environment. He is probably wondering what the heck happened…
    Nice zucchini!

  2. And that snail was still alive?
    I don’t like to clean too much, I would much prefer the walk.
    I am getting some more zucchini tomorrow, that looks so good!

  3. Deb, that’s what worries me…one never knows!
    Meredith, well, he was hanging on tightly but I didn’t do a closer inspection…

  4. I do agree, you are very nice! I started getting my house cleaned last year, but it’s still not that clean (simply because I never clean anything between times and they only come once a month!)
    The zucchini sticks look great! Just delicious looking!

  5. Katie how Nice of you! 😉 Great post and I can’t believe you set the beast loose amongst the hens er, herbs that is! So have you tried harvesting your garden snails and making escargot yet? Terrific butter delivery systems. 😀 But that would not be very nice.
    Congrats again on your award. I happen to agree with Tanna that you highly deserve it girl! 😀
    Love the recipe as well. I adore zucchini in all shapes and forms.

  6. Lets here it for zucchini. I don’t know why my friends have stopped giving me their leftovers from their gardens. Perhaps it is all gone and I love zucchini! These sticks would be a perfect snack!

  7. I’m with you on the cleaning. Remember–dust acts as a protective barrier for your furniture.
    I love that those zuchinni sticks are baked, not fried.

  8. Terrific story, and an unexpected twist! Thanks for thinking that I am nice enough for this award. You have to imagine me smiling from ear to ear 🙂
    I hate cleaning because I am allergic to dust (good excuse, huh?). But I can’t out of it, so I do it only because if I don’t, it’ll be even more dusty and that would be bad for me.
    I actually like zuchinni very much, so I am happy to learn new ways to cook them These baked ones look YUMMMM!

  9. Thank you, Kalyn, I envy you your maid – even if it’s once a month… You know it’s going to happen!
    BZ, I have not harvested the snails – although I certainly have enough of the little devils. I do participate in snail-tossing, though. As to the butter, garlic and parsley – yum!
    Margot, Greetings to you! Have a try…
    Valli, your friends STOPPED giving you zucchini? Either it’s all gone or you’ve done something nice to them…
    Simona, you are most welcome…and deserving!
    Great one, Sher, I’ll remember that and adhere faithfully!
    Happy to make you smile, Nora. I could be allergic to dust…or maybe just cleaning…

  10. Can you ever have enough zucchini? I just picked some more up at the farmers market on the weekend. The baked zucchini sticks sound good.

  11. Fun post! When that group of strangers is finished cleaning your house, send them over to mine so I can cook and blog all day haha

  12. ‘ve always loved these zucchini sticks that you often find at a bar but they are fried and pre-fab…this is superior and I’ll try them!

  13. Baked that is the best. And I always welcome zucchini!
    Put me on that stranger list will you please!
    I love the way you walked us into this one. So well done.

  14. I am a slovenly housekeeper.
    But those zucchini sticks sound great – and like something a picky child might eat…

  15. yes that would be nice, I wish someone was nice to me and cleaned my house too. Once a week. But I have to do it on my own. I’m cleanin the loft at the moment and Katie, listen to this: I have so far thrown away 15 big garbage sacks of stuff. It’s so liberating. And as a reward I will turn the small room outside the loft into a small photo studio, makes it almost nice to clean. But only almost…

  16. Katie – I feel so honored! Thank you soooo much for passing that on to me, and at a time when I needed it.
    The zucchini sticks look so appetizing, I can’t wait to make them.

  17. Kevin, according to my garden the answer is ‘NO’.
    Maryann, happy to, just make sure you send them back!
    Shayne, Ooooo, so very much better than a spider – I didn’t even scream!
    Peter, baked is definitely better
    Tanna, you’re on the list…. those strangers are going to be busy and well-travelled! and thanks!
    Maggie, I’m okay as long as people don’t draw in the dust…
    Ilva, 15 garbage sacks!?!?! You are inspiring me! When I was cleaning I kept asking mon mari ‘Do we really need this?’ I was ready to throw out everything that requires dusting. I really should get in my closets as well, sigh….
    Jeni, and so deserving… My thoughts are with you..

  18. Dear Katie, the zucchini sticks look so delicious! I’d love to be one of the strangers hehehe… put me on the list too, will ya!

  19. I’m amazed that you set the snail free in your garden! I generally toss them into the canyon. Perhaps that qualifies me as not very nice, but I’m just not thrilled by the damage they do. I just haven’t the heart to kill something just because it likes to eat!
    And for those of us who don’t have a garden, I’d say no – we haven’t eaten enough zucchini!

  20. Your on it Arfi, happy to pass’em on…
    Tigerfish, they do don’t they? Hmmm, fish fingers….
    Toni, I usually pitch them over the road, I put this one in the weeds – not the herb garden. I figured he’d been traumatized enough, a short flight might have done him in…

  21. The little creature knew exactly how nice you were and are, that’s why he’s back!I enjoyed this post~I always can count on a few chuckles after reading your post for the day~you desrved this wonderful award! And your zucchini dish deserves one, yoo!

  22. I’m with you on the cleaning thing. Clean house is great but for heaven’s sake, life is too short. Nobody ever went to their grave thinking “nooooooo, I should have cleaned behind the shower taps!” OK, I don’t want everything under a layer of dust & breeding salmonella in my kitchen sink, but there simply does not seem to be any good reason to waste a lovely day on housework. I pray every night that a bunch of nice people will come and clean my house – so far no luck but I’ll keep you posted:-)

  23. Jeanne, I can live with the layer of dust as long as no one writes in it….but I keep the sink clean…If you find them…or I do, we’ll share!
    Ashley, baking is good – and they still got nicely crispy! I hate frying in oil… Makes such a mess and no one wants to clean it up hahaha

  24. I don’t know what I’d do without my cleaning maid. My house would probably be in shambles right now and I wouldn’t be able to find anything.

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