November Newsletter
Here we present the official Foster Change Thanksgiving Meal for the year of 2020. Thank you to everyone who participated by submitting your favorite recipes for Thanksgiving. These are our favorites from each category. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Thanksgiving Turkey
  • 1 turkey (12-20lbs, rule of thumb 1.5 lbs per person)
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 Apple, quartered
  • 2 tbsp each fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage
  • (*should be one about package each
  • *can substitute dried herbs but use 1 tsp dried for 1 tbsp fresh)

Herb butter:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • Fresh chopped herbs (listed above)
1. Remove thawed turkey from the fridge and let come to room temp for 1 hr.
2. Adjust oven rack so turkey will sit in center of the oven. Preheat oven to 325 F.
3. Make herb butter by combining room temperature butter, minced garlic, salt, pepper, one tbsp fresh chopped rosemary, one tbsp fresh chopped thyme, and half tbsp fresh chopped sage. (You’ll use remaining herbs for stuffing inside cavity of turkey). Set aside.
4. Remove turkey from packaging. Remove neck and giblets from inside the cavity of the bird. (Reserve them for gravy if you want, or discard). Pat turkey very dry with paper towels. *No need to rinse turkey in sink.
5. Season cavity of turkey with salt and pepper. Stuff it with quartered lemon, onion, apple and leftover herbs.
6. Use fingers to loosen and lift the skin above the breasts (on top of turkey) and smooth a few tablespoons of the herb butter underneath.
7. Tuck wings of turkey underneath turkey and set on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan.
8. Microwave remaining herb butter mixture for 30 seconds (doesn’t need to be fully melted, just really softened). Brush remaining herb butter all over outside of turkey, legs and wings.
9. Cover turkey with tented foil and cook at 325 degrees for 13 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature reaches about 165 degrees. Be sure to insert thermometer into thigh or breast to measure temp. Try not to check on turkey until at least halfway cooking time to keep oven evenly warm. No need to baste turkey at all during cooking process.
10. During last hour of cooking, remove foil to let turkey brown. Be careful not to burn breasts.
11. Remove turkey from oven once internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Allow turkey to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.
Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed Ham
  • 8-10 lb bone-in, fully cooked ham (place at room temp 1-2 hrs before starting recipe)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
1. Remove ham from packaging, make sure to take off any netting. Trim away rind by inserting knife between rind and fat and pulling. Discard rind. Let rest room temp for 1-2 hrs before cooking.
2. Once at room temp, preheat oven to 300°F and arrange rack in the lower third.
3. Score ham (make shallow 1/4 inch deep diamond pattern cuts using tip of sharp knife). Place ham in baking dish.
4. Add 1/3 cup water to base of pan and cover ham with two pieces of foil. Bake for 30 mins
5. Meanwhile, heat butter in small pot over medium heat until golden browned. Add in brown sugar, honey, mustard, and cinnamon. Stir well until sugar dissolves, about 2 mins.
6. Reduce heat to low and add smashed garlic, cook until fragrant, about 2 more minutes. Glaze should be consistency of honey. Set aside.
7. After 30 mins, remove ham from oven and increase temp to 425°F.
8. Remove foil and add 1/3 of glaze all over ham, brushing in between cuts to evenly cover. Return to oven and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and brush with another 1/3 of the glaze and some of the pan juices. Return to oven and bake again for 15 mins until golden brown crust has formed. If crust has not formed, broil for 2 mins carefully watching to make sure glaze does not burn.
10. Remove ham from oven and top with remaining glaze. Let rest 10-20 minutes before slicing.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Courtesy of Stacy Galka.
  • 2 large cans of sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn flakes
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
Mix together all ingredients. Put in Pyrex bowl. Bake 30 min @ 350. Make topping on stove top after cooked. Mix butter and brown sugar until melted, and add corn flakes. Put on top of cooked dish and return to oven for 10-15 min.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
  • 1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

Optional add ons:
  • cooked crumbled bacon
  • maple syrup
  • chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut off brown end and halve sprouts.
3. Lightly mix in bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper.
4. Spread evenly on baking sheet in single layer.
5. Bake for 35 mins, shaking at 15 min mark to evenly brown edges (this is also when you should add any add-ons if desired).
6. Sprinkle with kosher salt and serve.
Cranberry Sauce
Courtesy of Deena Lakes
  • 1 package fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 peeled and diced pear
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Orange zest
  • Pinch of salt
1. Zest large orange, then cut and squeeze into crockpot.
2. Peel and dice pear. Add to crockpot.
3. Place all remaining ingredients in crockpot set to HIGH.
4. Cover and cook for 3 hours, stirring once an hour. Should thicken as it cooks. If too thick, add water. If too thin, cook additional 45 mins uncovered.

Can serve warm or chill in fridge until ready to serve.

Cranberries should pop during cooking process, but can be removed and blended if a smoother consistency is preferred.
Wild Rice Salad
  • 1 cup wild or brown rice
  • 2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp grated orange peel
  • 1 tsp honey
1. Bring rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and chicken stock to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 50 minutes. Do not stir. Do not uncover.
2. Make dressing while rice cooks. In jar or small bowl, mix lemon juice, olive oil, orange peel, honey, and salt/pepper to taste.
3. In serving bowl, combine dried cranberries, chopped pecans (toasted or untoasted, but richer flavor if toasted in saucepan for a few seconds being careful not to burn), and diced green onions.
4. Remove rice pot from stove after 50 mins, let sit COVERED for additional 10 mins.
5. Uncover and fluff rice with fork. Let cool.
6. Pour into serving bowl with other ingredients.
7. Just before serving, mix dressing in with the rice mixture. Serve warm, chilled, or room temperature.
Pumpkin Cake
Courtesy of Cindy Tarrant
  • 3 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice OR just plain cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 cups (1 smaller can) pure pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup Wesson oil, or whatever is on hand
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Mix all the dry ingredients first, then add wet ingredients one at a time. Beat until it looks smooth. Add pecans and gently fold them in. Pour all of this into a greased and floured tube pan. If you don't care about a crispy crust, you can just spray the pan well with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Till the cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and set on a cold, wet cloth for a few minutes to cool. Can rub sides with cloth, as well. Use a knife to gently go around the edges to ensure a clean release. Tap bottom of tube pan and then flip over onto serving plate. Enjoy cold or warmed w/ butter. Dreamy to enjoy with a cup of coffee.
Rice Pudding
Courtesy of Ali Caliendo
  • 1cup Pearled Barley
  • 2 1/2 cup Whole Milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup white sugar,
  • 2 TB unsalted butter
  • 6 Golden Delicious apples (pealed, cored, sliced 1/4 in thick)"
  • 1 cup raisins
  • zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
This recipe is adapted from Riso delle Monache (Rice Pudding with a Blessing) from Lidia Bastianich. It's not a traditional Thanksgiving Desert but I promise you will want to make this welcoming and warming dish for all holidays! Our family uses pearled barley in place of risotto rice (Arborio). It is so good warm from the oven served with vanilla ice cream, or heated up the next day for breakfast with a little cream or 1/2 and 1/2 on top.

Preheat oven to 375. In one saucepan, heat the barley with 2 cups of the milk, salt, and 1/2 c of the white sugar. Simmer until milk is absorbed and barley is cooked, then stir in the butter. Let cool slightly.

In another saucepan, place the apples, raisins, lemon zest/juice, remaining 1/2 c of white sugar. Melt the sugar then simmer until apples begin to soften. Let cool slightly.

Combine the two mixtures. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and 2 eggs together and stir in to the combined barley and apples.

Spread in a 3 qt baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and sprinkle the top with the brown sugar, then continue baking until the mixture is set and the top is caramelized- about 15-18 more minutes.
Just For Kids
Here are 5 easy turkey crafts you can do with your kiddos. Each craft is a different difficulty level, so each of your kiddos can have fun and participate!

Supplies include:
--a paper plate x2
--a toilet paper roll
--popsicle sticks
--a pine cone
--Multicolored Construction Paper
--Artificial Leaves
Let's Talk About Celebrations
What needs to be considered?
When attending celebrations, or family gatherings, we as caregivers need to be considerate of the special circumstances our kiddos will be in during the holidays. They are going to be experiencing a lot of emotions that are directly related to spending intimate time with relatives that are not their own, no matter how much love is being extended to them.
A lot of emotions will come up.
Our kiddos are experiencing complex emotions as a result of being at celebrations of family, while being distanced from their own relatives. No matter what the circumstances of their displacement, our kiddos are likely grieving the loss of another family holiday, missing connections that they once had, perhaps uncomfortable spending time with unfamiliar people, or even angry that they have to be involved.
Have the hard conversations.
Our kiddos deserve to be able to process their emotions in a healthy manner. Have the hard conversations with your kiddos, let them tell you how they are feeling. Let them tell you how much they can handle as far as family involvement. Be considerate of the fact that, especially newer placements, may still feel like a guest in your home, rather than a part of the family.
How does trauma factor in?
Even after all of this, if our kiddos want to be apart of the celebrations, we as caregivers know that they have experienced one form of trauma or another, which means that they may have adverse reactions to the high-stimulation of a family gathering. If you have a lot of people coming together, or particularly loud relatives, be mindful that they noise levels, be them loud or just very constant, can become overstimulating. Know what your kiddos can handle, and prepare them before hand.
Be open minded.
Having a trauma affected kiddo in your home raises a lot of difficult situations. By becoming foster parents, we accepted the the responsibility of caring for our trauma affected kiddos, which means sometimes making accommodations for their needs. We need to keep an open mind about what their needs are, and help to brainstorm creative ways to help them work through their rough patches. We can't love away the trauma, but we can love them through it.
Vegas Strong Academy with Parks and Recreation
  • Accepts Urban League- Library locations only
  • Community centers- have a separate application for financial aide
  • Bring financial request to the community center directly
  • Call for openings
  • Yes, for children with special needs, have to toilet and feed themselves.
  • Dula community center, 702-229-6307 assist with the financial assistance process and criteria to qualify

SMUNA- Southern Nevada Urban Micro Academy

Boys and Girls Club

  • Enrolling Full/Half Day preschool ages 3-5
  • Preschool accepts Urban League assistance
  • Enrichment Program
  • Open M-F Full Day ages 5-15
  • Financial Assistance available
  • Accepts children with special needs. Must toilet on their own and able to self-feed

Battle Born Las Vegas Kids and Teens

  • Learning camps
  • 2 locations:
  • Life Time Athletic Green Valley
  • 121 Carnegie St, Henderson, NV 89074
  • Life Time Summerlin
  • 10721 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89135
  • Ages 5-12
  • Call for financial information and acceptance of children with special needs

Boys Town
Community Resources
Food Banks

There are many locations in Nevada where families can get free and reduced food.
Clark County Food Resources

Three Square offers an interactive website which matches your zip code to food banks and provides the food bank’s days and times of operation.
Phone: (702) 644-3663

Just One Project offers free groceries for individuals and groups. Below is a quick snapshot of what they offer and a link to their site.
  • The Mobile Food Market  is: A mobile community market in Southern Nevada called Pop Up & Give at various locations. There are no requirements to be served.
  • The Senior Food Market is: Open weekly on Monday's and Friday's BY APPOINTMENT ONLY to serve seniors 60+ in need of food. To make an appointment call the office. The pantry is stocked with specialized foods for proper senior nutrition. The Just One Project welcomes all senior individuals and groups. There are no requirements to receive groceries and no lines to wait in. Seniors are welcome to attend the pantry once a month for grocery needs.
  • The  Senior Grocery Delivery  is: Grocery delivery made available for seniors Monday through Friday. Schedule BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
  • Emergency Assistance  is: FREE Groceries for Families. The Just One Project pantry is open weekly BY APPOINTMENT ONLY to serve families in need of emergency food assistance. To make an appointment call the office. They welcome all individuals and families in need. There are no requirements to receive groceries and no lines to wait in.

Phone: 702-462-2253
Hannah's Closet is a free clothing resource for foster families in the Las Vegas Valley. It offers clothes and shoes for ages 0-17, toys, and limited hygiene items, depending on availability. To shop, you will need to bring your placement letter, guardianship papers, or adoption decree. There are two locations, one north and one south, and both are available for monthly visits as needed. For more information and hours of operation, visit their Facebook pages, Hannah's Closet North and Hannah's Closet South. Business hours vary, as this is a volunteer-run resource.

Phone: (702) 546-8849
Crisis Support Resources Through Clark County School District
Families First PDF Guide

Safe-Voice: 1-833-216-SAFE (7233) for anonymous reporting
CCSD Police: 702-799-5411
Mobile Crisis Response Team: 702-486-7865
National Suicide Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Nevada Crisis Line: 775-784-8090
If someone is having thoughts of self-harm, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Please call 911 for an immediate emergency situation. 
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