Posts Tagged: recipe

23 January


Skin Food and a Cheeky Chilli!

It’s been an incredibly sad few days. Not just for the cast and crew of Corrie, not just for ITV…but as a nation. We lost our beloved Anne Kirkbride – a national treasure and true legend. This lady made everyone she came in contact with smile. Anne spent no less than 44 years of her life playing the infamous Deirdre Barlow, and no less than 44 years of her life making all who watched her – laugh wholeheartedly and cry along side her. Rest in peace Anne. We will all miss you terribly.

At the start of this week we paid a visit to my soon to be brother and sister in-law, Ian and Sarah. Sarah is due to have her baby girl two weeks before Me! So Tom’s parents are going to be very busy grandparents! A boy and a girl within weeks of each other! How lovely is that? I’m sure our ‘little pickle’ will look after their little princess. I smell lots of joint birthday parties ahead! (And cute matching outfits … Obvs!) Sarah looks amazing and it’s so nice to be going through our pregnancies together. As we chatted about breast feeding, backache and sore nipples the boys got all manly and hung out in their little girls nursery… Talking all things football and rugby I’m sure! It’s such a special time for our family- with weeks to go, and Sarah already experiencing frequent Braxton Hicks- everything is getting VERY real!!


I’ve been spending time with my best friend Peter ahead of becoming a mummy. We’re trying to get as many lunches in as possible! So Peter has been wining and dining me and bump which has been lovely.


Tom and I went to see ‘The Theory of Everything’ this week too- if you haven’t seen it- GO!!!! It’s a truly a remarkable film, and Stephen Hawking is truly a remarkable man. It made me feel so grateful for my health and my body- never take anything for granted we must be inspired by this man – seize every day!! You can’t help but be affected by this film, brilliantly cast and wonderfully directed. Eddie Redmayne is outstanding as Stephen Hawking – completely convincing with his physicality. If you don’t weep – you have a heart like a swinging brick!

Talking of great performances – how awesome was the Corrie coach crash!? I was utterly on the edge of my seat. Well done to all cast and crew involved – superb! You can see how things were done behind the scenes here:

There’s lots coming up for ‘Eva the Diva’ over the next few weeks too. I was given such a fab storyline prior to my maternity leave. I can’t wait for you guys to see it!!


My skin has been a little dry during pregnancy and because its so cold outside – your skin needs extra TLC – ladies AND gents!! I saw my good friend and make-up artist @ArmandBeasley this week. He’s given me some great tips for skincare that are simple and easy to look out for and try at home – without spending a fortune on jazzy labels!

Armand said:

Hyaluronic acid. This wonder ingredient has multiple functions like improving skin hydration, stimulating collagen production, helps maintain skin elasticity as well as a powerful cushion for joints and nerve tissues, along with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Of course to target the latter you need to take the HA orally, so look out for these supplements.

Hyaluronic Acid in a moisturiser can of course only target the upper layers of the skin however as HA is also a powerful humectant ( so attracts moisture) ,so you only need to apply a small amount.

Another great ingredient for the skin is Rosehip seed oil. It helps accelerate cell growth and keeps the skin young looking, it can help boost levels of collagen and can naturally aid cell regeneration. It is also great for helping repair the skin after sun damage and for easing the signs of premature ageing. Plus it’s a great natural treatment for scars.



Vitamin E has loads of benefits including boosting your immune system as well as working wonders for your hair, skin and nails when taken orally. But in a moisturiser or face oil it’s still a good antioxidant, but can be heavy, so again a little goes along way. It’s has great anti inflammatory benefits as well as soothing, calming and hydrating sensitive skin.

If you have a dry skin type look out for cold cream style consistencies as you might find them more comforting whilst an oily skin type needs a lighter oil free lotion.

Whilst on maternity leave I’m trying to practice ‘Hypnobirthing as much as possible, below I chat to expert @CherylYogaBelle in more depth about this unique and wonderfully positive attitude towards childbirth:

I’ve loved learning more about Hypnobirthing from you. In regards to childbirth what would be your top five tips for a mummy to-be like myself?

1. Prepare for childbirth but in the right way. I always say you wouldn’t turn up for a marathon without any training and yet every day women ignore their pregnancy, carry on as normal, try to block it out completely and are then surprised when birth goes down the medical path. Nobody can control what happens during birth, but we can aim to be physically strong to cope with the rigorous demands of childbirth. We also need to be mentally prepared which leads me to…

2. Be realistic but positive. Childbirth is frankly, the most amazing experience you will ever have. Yes it’s hard work, but when was something amazing ever easy? :) I think its important to choose your birth preparation method carefully. I’ve come across methods which promise pain free and even ‘orgasmic’ births and while this can sometimes be the case, this is not for the majority of women. I think this leads to unfair and false expectations for mum and if things don’t go to plan, blame mum for not having ‘the perfect birth.’ Birth ROCKS hypnobirthing, respects each mother and child as individual and doesn’t say that hypnosis will work for everyone. We use techniques to determine what will give you personally comfort during birth, not just a one size fits all approach. Childbirth is amazing, the rush of hormones directly after birth also makes you feel completely ecstatic and the love you feel for your baby is unlike anything you will ever experience. But expect hard work :)

3. Stay away from the people with the horrible stories. Everyone has a scary birth story to tell you, not enough mums have positive experiences are sharing! You need to remember that one persons birth experience is not yours so don’t take that baggage on. If someone tries to tell you a horrible story, stop them and say, if you don’t mind I’d rather not know. Women who have had these experiences find it difficult to believe that there is another way and may even mock you for aiming for a natural or peaceful birth, so best just not to discuss it.

4. Look after yourself and your baby. Stay fit and healthy, if you haven’t been fit before not is not the time to reach peak fitness. Try out a pregnancy yoga class, a qualified teacher will be able to work with your current fitness level. Eat well, don’t pig out on junk ‘because your fat anyway. Everything you eat is feeding your baby so try your best to eat and drink healthily.

5. Be prepared to surrender to pregnancy and birth. People often think of ‘surrendering’ as giving in or being weak, but during pregnancy and birth its the most powerful thing you can do. It takes great strength to be able to trust our body and our baby, and trust that they know what to do. Our bodies were created to grow our babies and to birth them, it makes no sense that birth should be the torturous time portrayed in the media. There is another way and looking towards pregnancy yoga, making use of the breath and birth hypnosis are the best way to prepare for surrender.

I promised you some comfort food this week didn’t I? Its still bloody freezing outside, so get this down your chops! Its healthy, its hearty and packed with good protein, good carbs and fibre! (also freezes really well!)

Auntie Cath’s Cheeky Chilli!


• 2 medium red onions

• 2 cloves garlic

• 2 red peppers

• olive oil

• 1 heaped teaspoon chilli powder

• 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin

• sea salt

• freshly ground black pepper

• 400 g tinned red kidney beans

• 2 x 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes

• 500 g quality minced beef

• 1 small bunch fresh coriander

Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Halve the red peppers, seeds and roughly chop. Place a large pan on a medium high heat. Add some olive oil and add the onions, garlic and peppers. Add the chilli powder and cumin with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir until softened.

Add the drained kidney beans and the tinned tomatoes followed by the minced beef. Fill one of the empty tomato tins with water and pour this into the pan. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and turn the heat down to a simmer with a lid slightly askew for about an hour, stirring every now and again to stop it catching. Add the chopped, fresh coriander last minuet then serve with sweet potato wedges! I like to cook my wedges in a little bit of coconut oil with some fresh garlic cloves and sun dried tomatoes. They take approx 30 mins! Enjoy!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream Big

Love Auntie Cath and Big Bump!!

24 October


Christmas in the Rovers, baby showers and homeopathy

I’m still covered in glitter and blimin tinsel. Feels like I live in Lapland at the moment. Been filming Christmas day this week. Such a special atmosphere on set when we film Christmas. Especially in the Rovers. We’ve also been out on some pretty rough locations in the depths of Salford (oh the glamour!) A great week though, shot some great scenes with Simon Gregson and Antony Cotton.





Also this week we gave Jennie Mcalpine a baby shower at her lovely restaurant ‘Annie’s’, with only a few weeks to go I think you’ll all agree Jen looks absolutely fabulous. She really is glowing and cant wait to meet her little one. It was a lovely baby shower, nice to see so many friends all turn out to celebrate the impending arrival of her little one. Paula and I attended too and we all shared bump stories around some ginger ale and cake – perfect! Good luck Jen! You’re going to be such a wonderful mummy :-)

I have been so touched by the response and support I have had from other mum’s to be and yummy mummy’s that have also suffered with IBS like myself during pregnancy.. I just wanted to share with you some tips that I’m finding helpful at the moment. During pregnancy you’re very limited as to what medications are safe to take. So last week I saw a homoeopathic doctor. Her remedies seem to have helped. Homoeopathy has been practised for centuries and often cure people the way nature intended. Which in my opinion is always a good shout! I shall keep you updated on my treatment. Other things that can really help are Turmeric and aloe vera juice! Turmeric has been known to treat our body’s gastrointestinal system. Turmeric helps our stomach to withstand digestive acids, which can otherwise harm it. It calms the upper digestive system by getting rid of gas. Turmeric is also known to help increase absorption in intestine and promote intestinal flora. You can take capsules or drink it in hot water with lemon, as well as using it in cooking. Aloe vera juice is soothing and is well known to help IBS and acid reflux. Drinking aloe vera replenishes your body naturally with a huge range of nutrients. It contains approximately 200 active components including – vitamins A, B1,B2,B6, B12, C, E, folic acid and Niacin. I’ve found it really helps with bloating and indigestion. So rather than pumping ones body full of tablets full of all kinds – maybe it really is best to see what mother nature has provided for us first? Let me know how you get on guys!

My other half Tom cooked up a storm this week with his version of Paleo Carbonara


Here’s the recipe – MUCH better for you than a regular carbonara dish and equally as yummy!!

Tom’s Paleo Carbonara

•1/2 pound pancetta, chopped

•2 medium courgettes, cut into strips or use a ‘spiralizer’

•3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

•1 clove garlic, minced

•1 teaspoon sea salt

•1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

•3 large egg yolks

•1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon of creme fraiche

•1 cup parmesan cheese, divided

•1/2 cup frozen peas

Prepare your courgette and let sit in a colander for 30 minutes. Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil then add in panchetta. Saute for 5 minutes or until they begin to crisp. Take off heat and bob to one side. Set a pan over medium high heat and add olive oil. Once hot add in courgette pasta and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in garlic, salt and pepper. Lower temperature. In a small bowl whisk egg yolks, add crème fraiche and add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and mix with a fork. Increase heat to medium high and add in egg yolk mixture and peas. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and add in the panchetta and stir around. We like to add a blob of pesto sometimes too :-). Give it a go guys! Stunning! You can use the same principal for ‘Spag Bol’ too – kids love it as opposed to pumping them full of gluten/processed carbs.

11 July


Celebrating Christmas in July!

What a lovely little week I’ve had. Best part being a trip to London with my gorgeous Mum – Janet. I’d been asked to film a Christmas episode (yes you heard that right) of Gino and Mel. One of my favourite shows! I love Gino, I love Mel and I Love cooking – so this show was a no brainier!

Gino and Mum

Gino and Mum

I was interested to see what Italian chef (= obsessed with bread and pasta) Gino would come up with for me as I’m wheat intolerant. Let me tell you – he pulled it out of the bag and then some!

Wow! The recipes were absolutely stunning! And very Paleo! I’ll tweet and let you know when my episode is on so you can try these recipes. Now my little mum LOVES Gino! Most ladies do right?

Gino and Mel

Gino and Mel

What’s not to love? Lovely guy, Italian accent and he does amazing things with naughty carbs? So taking my mum was also a no brainer! We enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea at the Corinthia Hotel the night before and had some real girly time – which was so precious.

Time with my family always is. I’m big on family – and I’ve been blessed with the best!

The next morning we were picked up and taken to the studios, Janet was like a small child at Christmas!

We were strangely gifted with mince pies and a Christmas cake – that was enough for my mum to sing ITV’s praises all the way home!

Then her moment arrived! I arrived on set and chatted with Gino and Mel while mum sat anxiously in the audience. First thing Gino asked me “Where is your mother?” I pointed her out and he skipped over and planted those lovely dual European kisses on her cheeks.

She might not wash them again …and I feel I have secured my place as ‘Favourite Daughter 2014′.

Just call me Daughter of the Year!

Just call me Daughter of the Year!

The show was such great fun, we laughed throughout and Both Gino and Mel were super lovely. So keep your eyes peeled for that one guys!

After my holiday I’ve been trying to Alkalize my body as much as possible with lots of greens drinks and green soups.

I’ve come up with an uber quick soup for you guys, That helps to alkalize, detox and cleanse whilst tasting pretty damn good too!!

Auntie Cath’s ‘Cram-a-Green Soup’


2 Large leeks, finely chopped
1 White onion, finely chopped
3 Celery sticks
3 Garlic cloves finely chopped
2 Cups of Broccoli
3 Cups of Kale (approx half a bag)
3 Cups of spinach (one bag)
2 Courgettes roughly chopped
1 Aubergine, thinly sliced
1 small tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
1 tsp of grass fed organic butter
1 veg stock cube (organic)
2 Pints of hot water


Lightly fry the leeks, celery, onion and Garlic in the butter until golden brown, meanwhile roast the courgette and aubergine in the oven for approx 25 mins until cooked. Add the broccoli and Kale to the onions, celery and leeks and sauté for 5-8 mins stirring often.

Add the stock cube to the hot water and stir until dissolved. Pour onto the sautéed veg and allow to simmer on a low light.

Add the roasted courgette and aubergine and finally the spinach. Bring to the boil then blend the whole mixture either with a food processor or a hand held food blender until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, enjoy! Boom- Easy!

All about posture

All about posture

One of the things they instilled in us at drama school is posture. When I’m tired I become quite round shouldered and slumped – one of the exercises I do with Paul to combat this as well as targeting several muscle groups is the ‘Seated Row’.

The seated row is a great exercise for not only targeting your upper back muscles, biceps and forearms strength, it’s great for activating all the muscles that indeed – help hold a great posture and stop you slouching.
So if your shoulders roll forward making you look like you slouch, try this to correct a bad posture.

Drive your elbows as far back as you can without cocking the wrists, keeping the chest held high and be conscious of trying to pull your shoulder blades together.

Good posture also make you look slimmer (gives you Perkier breasts to ladies!).

Chow For Now Heath bunnies,
Stay happy and dream big!
Auntie Cath xxx

06 June


Becoming a football fan and heating up the BBQ

I had a revelation this week! A very surprising one at that. I LOVE football. This isn’t a joke, I promise! Some of my Corrie girls and I played five-a-side this week for charity – ( For days beforehand, I was dreading getting on that pitch, having never played football in my life.

Football time

Football time

I’m used to singing on a pitch, not running around one. I was only supposed to play in maybe 4 out of 8 matches, but as the morning went on we had two injuries to our team members- so I had to play all 8 matches! Us Corrie lot, were equally spread out into opposing teams, I played against Samia several times – that girl can shift!

The team

The team


Also on board was Katie McGlynn and Tisha Merry, and I have to say girls – you all smashed it! I even scored a goal! (At this point I was borderline hysterical, feeling like Ronaldo with boobs and a weave). I lead warm-up in the changing rooms, supplied Kale chips at half time, and water and Bullet proof coffee on tap – @paul_boys I did you proud!

Corrie's Samia

Corrie’s Samia


I finally got my hands on our BBQ this week! Yep – Manchester had SUNSHINE!! I have a fab BBQ chicken sauce recipe for you to try:



Auntie Cath’s Chuck-Chuck Sauce

16 oz tomato sauce
– 1 cup water
– 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
– 4 Tbsp. Manuka honey
– 1/2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
– 1 Onion – very finely chopped
– 2 Garlic Cloves
– 1/2 Tbsp. ground mustard
– 1 tsp. paprika
– 1 mild chilli finely chopped (optional)
– 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium high heat and stir to combine. Taste and adjust any seasonings if you wish. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 1 hour. Whack it on your chicken and enjoy! Can also be used as an overnight marinade – Winner, winner chicken dinner!

I’m really starting to look at food and herbs in a different way these days. In a medicinal way and as a preventative to many different ailments. This week I’ve been reading up on ginger. I love ginger and use it in a lot of my cooking, especially in stir-fries. The benefits of ginger are fantastic, having had IBS and digestive problems in the past, I was already aware that historically, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. In herbal medicine, ginger is regarded as an excellent carminative (a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas) and intestinal spasmolytic (a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract). Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects. But how else does it benefit us?

*Anti-Inflammatory Effects
*Safe and effective relief of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy
*Ginger induces cell death in ovarian cancer cells

* Wonderful immune boosting action

I feel ginger is the way forth is it not? Especially for us ladies! It’s so easy to prepare too! To remove the skin from fresh mature ginger, peel with a paring knife. The ginger can then be sliced, minced or julienned. The taste that ginger brings to a dish depends upon when it is added during the cooking process. Added at the beginning, it will lend a subtler flavour and when added near the end, it will deliver a more pungent taste. Or if you’re lazy like me – you can pre-prepare ginger!

Single leg squat

Single leg squat

This week @Paul_Boys shares with you a truly life-changing…no, scratch that…a truly ass changing exercise! It’s tough, but if it wasn’t tough, what’s the point eh? Ladies and gentlemen, the master of glutes gives you ‘The Single Leg Squat’ (Cath shudders with fear).

The single leg squat is a great exercise to target your bum and legs, giving you a backside you can bounce coins off!

A special morning

A special morning

Have one foot planted on a platform as high as your knee, take a big stride forward with the other foot. When performing the squat, lower yourself under control as deep as you can go without leaning too far forward and making sure all the weight is over the planted foot.

Keep the chest held high, chin up and then when you push try making sure the foot remains flat, pushing from the heel of the foot. Repeat. (Cath does 20 reps each side, with weights then repeats, start with no weights on 8 reps then build) Then change legs. Try your best throughout to not shift the weight back onto the raised leg.

Hero Ride

Hero Ride

This morning was a very special morning for me as I started the ‘Hero Ride’ – a mammoth bike ride in aid of a charity very dear to my heart – ‘Help For Heroes”. I had the opportunity to meet some of the cyclists and start the race for them. Many of them ex-military, with astounding stories to tell. Each person taking part a true inspiration. I felt very honoured they had asked me to attend. Well done to ALL involved! Find out how you can help here:

Help For Heroes

Help For Heroes

Next week I’ll be giving you some more fab recipes for the BBQ, and we’ll chat more with @dale_pinnock about foods to help improve your skin, so you’re ready, set and glowing for that beach!

Till then my little Health Bunnies!
Dream BIG
Auntie Cath

23 May


An elegant wedding and the benefits of an ‘ice bath’

What a lovely week its been! One of my dearest friends, the uber talented and beautiful Paula Lane got married to her lovely fella Mark. Congratulations Mr & Mrs Shaw!

Paula looked absolutely stunning – so classy and elegant. There’s a timeless beauty about her, we all agreed she looked like a film star – very Audrey Hepburn. The sun shone, the service was gorgeous, and merriment was had by all! Thanks for having us Paula!

Gorgeous wedding

Gorgeous wedding

Now, here’s a bit of weirdness for you -remember my pregnant pal Kate? I spoke about her in last week’s blog? Well she was due to give birth on July 19th. However psychic Cath here had several dreams that she had gone into early labour. On Saturday morning I was convinced she’d give birth that day – guess what?

She did!!! Little George has arrived! How weird is that? Enjoy every second Kate and Ben! Big love to you and the little fella xxx

Wedding guests

Wedding guests

On Sunday I did my first open water swim in preparation for The Great Swim 2014. I’ll admit, when I signed up to do the swim I was pretty cocky about it. “I used to swim for Salford,” I announced!

I count myself as a strong, competent swimmer…Oh Cath, you silly lass. Open water swimming is COMPLETELY different. COMPLETELY.

We swam in a lake near Knutsford, which looked gorgeous. It took me a good 15 minutes to squeeze myself into my wet suit (which is like wearing full-body spanks guys), when I got outside I seemed to be getting a few giggles and funny looks.

Yep, I had put my wetsuit on back to front. I thought one wore it like a cat-suit? No? Because it had taken me so long to get into, I refused to take it off. Much to my boyfriends embarrassment.

We headed over to the lake side, I dipped a toe in and immediately turned back up the hill. Resigned to the fact I couldn’t possibly get into what can only be described as an ‘Ice-Bath’. After some encouragement from other swimmers, I decided to take the plunge.

You know in the film ‘Titanic’ when Jack tells Rose, that falling into the sea was like a thousand knives stabbing you all over? Well, I’m not one to be dramatic (honest) but by heck it was absolutely freezing!

Not to mention the fact that as my wet suit was on back to front, half the lake ended up in my cleavage) It completely takes your breath away. This was ‘Fight or Flight’ time! (Cue Rocky soundtrack ‘Eye of The Tiger’) I could feel my heart racing and my breathing was all over the place as I broke into front crawl.

I had to mentally talk myself down – “just get to the first buoy” I told myself “focus, imagine you’re in a pool” (a really cold, muddy pool…) Anyway – it worked!

By the second lap of the lake, I had found my confidence, my breathing was fine and the wet suit, really helps to keep one buoyent (which is always nice). I felt such a sense of achievement afterwards. It is so different to swimming in a pool, I think its important to practice in open water as much as possible guys.

If nothing else – to at least get your body used to the temperature. And ok, I wont deny it is scary, but it will get easier – aside from the fact it gives you a great physique, speeds up metabolism and ‘burns calories’ lets just take a look at some of the other perks…

Cold water has its benefits

Cold water has its benefits

*Scientists immersed witting subjects in cold water for one hour, three times a week and monitored their physiology. They found significant increases in white blood cell counts and several other factors relating to the immune system. This was attributed to the cold water being a mild stresser which activates the immune system and gives it some practice.

*The cold will also stimulate your parasympathetic system, which is responsible for rest and repair, and this can trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are a vital part of keeping us happy and low levels of them are linked with depression. In short – it makes you grin :-)

*Being hot brings blood to surface. Being cold sends it to your organs. Both extremes work your heart like a pump. It helps flush your circulation , pushing blood through all your capillaries, veins and arteries. It will exfoliate your skin and flush impurities from it, thus helping your complexion (firm-bodied women of all ages around pool sides say it stops cellulite- dip me again!). Evidence also demonstrates that your body adapts to the cold with repeated exposure and this may improve your circulation – no bad thing in the winter. So when my trainer told me months ago to start having cold showers in the morning…he was right! (Again)

* Researchers also found increased production of testosterone and oestrogen in men and women respectively.

Enhancing libido in both sexes, these hormones also play an important role in fertility.

Soooo finally the sun is en route!! We keep having little bursts don’t we?! I’ll be showing you some fabulous BBQ recipes over the next few weeks. So stay tuned! For now here’s a gorgeous summer salad to get you warmed up!

Barbecue time

Barbecue time


Auntie Cath’s Popeye Salad

6 cups baby spinach

1 red onion shredded
1 apple, cut into small cubes
1 cup cashew nuts
2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oilWeb Bug from
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
In a large bowl, place spinach, apple and onion. In a cast iron skillet, toast the cashews until browned, about 10 minutes. Add warm nuts to salad, Drizzle oil and vinegar over the salad. Toss and serve.

Untill next week
Dream Big !
Auntie Cath xx

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