Carole’s Cookery – Things to Make With Beetroot

Chocolate and Beetroot Brownies

This is the picture in the recipe book  – will Carole’s turn out like these?

Ingredients – Makes 16

  • 250g fresh beetroot, cooked and peeled
  • 250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus a little more fro greasing
  • 250g good quality dark chocolate, broken into squares
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour, sieved
  • 100g walnuts or pistachios, roughly broken

What To Do

  1. Preheat oven to 170C. Line and grease a deep 20 x 20cm square baking tin.
  2. Chop the beetroot (wear rubber gloves to stop your skin staining) and blend with a dash of water until you have a smooth puree, adding more water as necessary.
  3. Pit the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted.
  4. in a separate bowl whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in the chocolate. Fold in the flour, nuts and the beetroot. Pour into the prepared tin.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until firm but still gooey in the centre when tested with a knife. When cool, cut into squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Here’s How Carole Did It

My first thoughts were that the ingredients seemed a bit expensive but once baked I had 24 pieces around 5cm square and they were very nice with ice cream!

I boiled the beetroot the night before. It can take around 2 hours until cooked and soft. When cold I peeled them by pushing off the layer of skin wearing gloves to stop my hands being stained purple.

It says to chop and blend the beetroot with a little water. I found it better to chop it with a knife and then mash with a fork.

I melted the chopped up butter and chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of bubbling water. Don’t rush this process or let any water into the mixture.

I think I whisked the eggs and sugar for longer than I needed to!

Here’s the chocolate and butter almost fully  melted.

Mix together the chocolate butter mix with the egg and sugar mixture, then fold in the flour, nuts and beetroot. Then pour into a greased ovenproof dish.

The recipe said bake for 25 minutes but mine took around 45 minutes. I tested it by putting in a skewer – if it came out with no mixture on it then it was cooked.

Here they are cooling on the rack, looking just like the ones in the book!

Beetroot Dip

Here’s the picture from the recipe book!

Ingredients – serves 4-6

  • 400g fresh beetroot, usually a bunch of 3
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for roasting
  • Sprinkle of sea salt
  • 6 tbsp thick Greek yogurt or creme fraiche
  • 2 garlic gloves, crushed
  • Toasted sourdough slices, to serve

What To Do

  1. Heat the oven to 180c. Remove any stalks or leaves, then roll each beetroot on a plate with a little olive oil sprinkled with salt. Wrap in foil and roast for an hour or until they are cooked through when tested with a knife.
  2. When the beetroot has cooled, peel them. You may want to wear rubber gloves to stop your skin from staining. Roughly chop and put in a blender with the rest of the olive oil, the yogurt or creme fraiche and the garlic. Whizz until smooth, then season to taste.
  3. To serve, scoop into a bowl and serve with slices of toasted sourdough.

Tip – swirl in a dollop of creme fraiche before serving to make it more creamy.

Here’s How Carole Did It:

This time it was easier to blend with the blender, possibly because it was with oil, not water. In the instructions it says to roast the beetroot but I already had leftover boiled beetroot from making the brownies.

Beetroot, garlic, oil, yogurt or creme fraiche, whizz or mash until blended.

Serve with bread, baked potato or a salad.

Carole’s Crafts – Spectacular Spectacles!

We decided at our last online club to have a contest to see who could wear the most amazing pair of glasses on camera at the next one. Carole’s come up with some great ideas to help you!

How to make Letter Specs

Here are some of the things you could use, take a look around at home:

I made a rough measurement of how big I would need them to be, using my own glasses (you could use a pair of sunglasses if you don’t wear specs yourself). Leave room either side for the arm to go along the side of your head and over your ear.

I drew what I hoped would look like the letters Y and C.

I stuck the white card on to the black as it wasn’t quite big enough.

Next I started gluing on strips of tissue paper. You could use a magazine, newspaper, wallpaper or wrapping paper. It didn’t matter about covering up the lens of the Y letter as I cut it out later.

Last of all I punched out some flower shapes using a paper punch or you could just draw some or cut them out of a magazine. When the tissue paper is dry draw lines around the letters to make it look like stitching.


How to make Rainbow Specs

Draw around your specs, allowing the rainbow to overhang more on the outside of your head, as the inside – the bit that is near your nose – will get in the way.

Mine looked like this.

After colouring the rainbow I cut out cloud shapes from cotton wool face wipes or you could use cotton wool or paper.

I fixed the rainbows on with double sided tape to the outside of the frames.

How to make Seaside Binoculars

Sticky tape two loo roll tubes together, leaving a gap for the nose bridge. I did mine at an angle facing outwards to fit the shape of my eyes. Then I stuck card over the bridge of the nose part to make it stronger, adding some card to fit around the side of my head.

I covered the loo roll tubes with brown tissue paper. Then I drew some umbrellas, beach hut, boat and a seagull. If you didn’t want to draw then you could cut images out of an old magazine. I then stuck a cocktail stick behind each drawing, leaving enough of the stick to stand up after pushing the pointed end into the loo roll.

Carole’s Crafts – Cultivation Update

It’s been 2 weeks since I planted the vegetable seeds. These are the tomato plants that need potting out into deeper pots around 6cm apart – they have grown to 3cm high.

Here you can see they’re still in the old meat container they were first planted in.

With a lot of shops closed I kept some containers from buying flowers or fruit, ready to re-pot plants into.

Because the tomato plants are so small I cut the soil with a knife and used a spoon to lift each on out, a bit like cutting up a tray of chocolate brownies.

All done and watered, 15 plants out of a packet that said it contained around 12!

Next, thinning out the rocket plants. If the container looks like a cat litter tray, well that’s what it is! I hadn’t got anything else suitable. I put some stones in for drainage as I didn’t want to put holes in the litter tray.

Difficult to thin out individual plants, so they are a bit clumpy but have more room to grow than they did. Again after re-potting (or a re-cat-litter-traying) give a light watering. Fingers crossed they will survive!

Update on the carrots: the green bits that I wasn’t sure at first weren’t weeds, are now definitely carrots. If you remember I did them in circles, not rows. Hopefully all will have survived and we can eat them by the time we can meet at club again!

Carole’s Crafts – Paint Your Own Furniture/Grow Your Own Vegetables

There’s a bit of a theme with this week’s Carole Crafts, it’s all about doing and growing it yourself. Bank Holiday weekends like the Easter one we’ve just had are usually times when people flock to DIY stores or garden centres , eager to improve their homes and gardens. As we’re all staying at home right now perhaps Carole can inspire you to find a project you can do with what you may already have around you?

Painted Drawers

I had these honey pine drawers that I wanted to make more exciting. This is how they looked after I sanded them down outside:

(Sanding off any existing paint and/or varnish gives a better surface for new paint to stick to.)

Next I removed the drawer knobs and gave them a coat of paint primer, which gives a good base for painting in your chosen colours.

Here’s the finished item. I used some leftover cream paint from when I painted my kitchen cupboards for the outsides. The drawers were painted with sample paints (one of the colours I used on the painted stones project last week). I gave the drawers 3 coats of paint and when they’d dried about 24 hours later I gave them a coat of varnish. The pebble knobs were bought about 4 years ago from Sainsburys which shows how long I’ve been intending to do this project!

Carole’s Cultivation

You will need:

  • Compost
  • Containers
  • Seeds

I’ve only grown mustard and cress before so I haven’t got much of a clue with veg but thought I would give it a go! I’ve chosen carrots, hanging basket tomatoes and rocket salad leaves.

I’ve used containers as my garden isn’t big enough to dig a vegetable patch and I thought it would be good to show how things can be grown in limited space.


This pot was half full with old soil and compost so I just topped it up with new compost.

On the packet it says sow seeds in a row. I couldn’t do rows in a round pot so I made 2 circles about 2cm deep, scattered the seeds in, covered them with compost and then gave it a water.

rocket salad leaves

I put some stones for drainage in the bottom of the container and filled it with compost. Then I made trenches around 1.5cm deep in rows, scattered the seeds in, topped with more compost and watered.

I had a few seeds left over so put some in an old, washed out meat container.  I’ve been watering all the seeds daily and here they are starting to sprout already after just a couple of days!

Hanging basket tomatoes

I’ve planted these seeds in an old washed out food container, the type that may originally have held meat or strawberries, etc. I used an old pencil to make holes for each seed in the compost. Then I covered the seeds with more compost and watered them.

This container is in the house, on the windowsill, as I haven’t got a greenhouse. Once they have grown they will get transplanted to bigger pots and then the last stage will be to transfer them to the hanging basket. I’ll keep you all posted on progress!

Carole’s Crafts – Forever Easter Egg/Decorated Pebble

This week Carole has been busy thinking up some crafts you can do over Easter that really capture that holiday feeling. The first is a decorative Easter Egg you can keep forever (or give as a gift) and the second is a beautiful bird’s eye view of the beach, painted onto a pebble or something similar you might find at home. Here’s how to make them – over to you Carole!

How to Make a Forever Easter Egg

You will need:

  • Pebble or something to paint, ideally as egg shaped as you can find
  • Wire
  • Sticky tape
  • Paint brush and paint (I used a match pot sample of matt paint)
  • Glitter glue pens, stick on gems or any craft materials you have to decorate it

  1.  I began by giving the pebble a coat of paint.

2. When the paint is dry tape the wire to the back of the pebble, at the top. I used about 30cm of wire.

3. Carry on wrapping the wire around the pebble and then stick down with more tape.

4. The front of your pebble should now look like this:

5. Start with decorating it with adhesive stones  or whatever you have, maybe just dabs of paint.

This is how my finished stone looks:

How to Make a Bird’s Eye View Decorated Pebble

You will need:

  • Pebble or something to paint
  • Paint brush and paint
  • Glitter glue pens
  • Photo of a bird or similar (I’m not good at drawing but you might be so you could always draw your own)
  • Glue or double sided tape (I used a double sided sticky pad cut to size)

  1. This pebble has a natural  line on it,  like the edge of the sea, so I followed it with blue paint.








2. Next I painted the rest of the area  in cream as the beach, with a few wisps for the waves.

3. When dry, which didn’t take long, I used some glitter glue to give the waves some sparkle.

4. I found an image of a flying bird from a magazine which I cut out and stuck on with a double sided sticky pad. I then used felt tip pens to draw rocks and seaweed.

I’m longing to go to the seaside but know I must sit tight and stay at home for now. Happy crafting, kids!

Carole’s Crafts

As we’re currently unable to have face to face meetings at club we’d like to introduce you to a new online feature called Carole’s Crafts! Usually Carole would be bringing along a new craft project each week for us to do together at club so while we’re all staying at home here’s the next best thing –  a step by step photo guide to what you can do at home to beat the boredom.

Carole Craft, Number 1: Make a Miniature Garden

You will need:

  • Round flower pot dish or container eg. plant pot, biscuit tin, old dinner plate.
  • Foil for a pond (you can use a pie tray, for example, or I used the foil lid off some body butter cream)
  • Soil or compost for the garden base
  • Stones, pebbles, small plants (I think mine are weeds!) and anything you can find.  Please ask parents before chopping off their best plants!  Some of these things could be found on your daily exercise outdoors.
  1. Line dish with soil or compost or both.

2.  Start arranging loosely what will go in your miniature garden and where you want it. I started with the pond and smaller things at the front then leading to larger, taller things at the back.

3.  The stone slightly overlaps the edge of the pond, the green is moss that likes to be kept damp, the flowers are off the lawn (weeds).  They are placed in a top off some fabric conditioner so you could use something similar.

4.  The dry stone wall is made by just laying them on top of each other, like lego bricks when building a house.

This is how it looks from above:

5.  If you want you can find a picture from a magazine and place behind your garden. (For those of you wondering why I didn’t use the tin robin in my final garden design it’s because he looked too big and daft, but it’s better to have a choice).


Carole Craft Number 2: Make a Miniature Seaside


You will need:

  • Plant pot dish or tray, lid, dinner plate or similar
  • Soil or sand
  • Stones, pebbles, shells
  • Dyed wood or bark, dried plants, sticks
  • Foil for stream running into sea

  1.  For this one I taped a picture from a magazine to the back of the dish.

2.  Fill dish with soil or sand, place strip of foil for stream from one side to the other, or use it as the sea.

3. On this one because of the background I have gone from using large items at the front going to smaller ones at the back, to give the idea of distance.

4.  The foil is held down with the stones and pebbles, then just a range of whatever bits and bobs you have found. I used the dry plants and ferns at the sides of the picture to soften the edge of it. The dried plants at the front are old pampas grass.


Here’s my seaside from a seagull’s eye view, see if you can spot the shells I have used. The flowers are cut from my heather plants.

The sky’s the limit, you could draw flowers or trees or cut them out from magazines. You could make a farm plate with farm animals, or design an ice age landscape with dinosaurs or whatever you like.

Whatever you make be sure to send us the pictures so we can enjoy them!


Young Adult Carer Holiday 2019

Our Young Adult Carers would like to say a big thank you to the Hereford Lions and Herefordshire Carers Support for making  it possible for them to have a much needed holiday this year. They’d also like to thank Hereford College of Art for their charity night at The Left Bank, where one of our YAC group, Trinity Harper, played saxophone. They very kindly donated the ticket money to Young Adult Carers.

As you can see, they had a wonderful time in Trecco Bay!

Holiday 2019!
A rocky walk.
Annual September beach front firework display.
Yummy, freshly cooked doughnuts!
Fab views on one of our walks.
Concentration is a must when playing Uno!
Having a breather on a coastal walk
Lovely view
Relaxing duvet morning
Off for a paddle.
It’s showcase time!
Pamper session with facemasks
Beautiful evening stroll
It’s fair time!
Loads to do
Time for green hair!
This sea is freezing!


Drama, sculpture, bingo and chocolate

It’s been another activities-packed few weeks at club. We’ll be putting clubs on hold for a couple of weeks over the Easter holidays and enjoying some fun days out instead. In the meantime here’s a look at what we’ve been up to since February.

We’ve continued to have some brilliant drama workshops with Toni Cook, courtesy of Ledbury Poetry Festival. What always strikes me about these session is how much laughter  they generate!

We are also very grateful to Wyldwood Arts for the work Lucy Baxendale has done with our Ross group. Some amazing creations have been made!

When we don’t have a specific workshop planned the groups choose what they would like to do and one of their selections was bingo! We had such fun playing for little prizes – I’ve never known tension like it as they wait for their numbers to be called.

All the groups had a go at making pancakes for Pancake Day and they all enjoyed making chocolate nests ready for Easter.

Have a very Happy Easter everyone!

February Half Term already!

It seems Christmas was just yesterday and now here we are at half term, with Easter just a few short weeks away.

We had some fantastic support for our clubs over Christmas with donations of food, drink and party items from the Holme Lacy Road Co Op in Hereford and from Hereford Asda. This meant we were able to throw parties at all our clubs and give the children a really festive time. In addition the Courtyard in Hereford kindly donated free tickets to the Panto, which was the brilliant Peter Pan this year, which the Young Carers really enjoyed. (Oh yes they did!)


Once we returned after the Christmas break we were fortunate enough to have several fun workshops lined up for us at club, courtesy of the Wyldwood Project and Ledbury Poetry Festival.

Toni Cook has put on some very lively drama sessions, which the groups adore, while Lucy Baxendale has been helping our Young Carers discover their arty side with some wonderfully creative clay sculptures.

On January 31st it was Young Carers Awareness Day, an event which our Ross on Wye Young Carers group fully supported by creating and performing their own rock song called It’s Young Carers Time (warning: it’s LOUD!)
And if you enjoyed that, why not take a look at the follow-up Making Of video?

We don’t rest during half term either. So far our Young Carers have been climbing at the Boulder Barn and then they’ll be off to another Panto, Dick Whittington, courtesy of the very generous and supportive Hereford Lions.   Can’t wait to see what next half term brings!