Thanksgiving 101: Tony’s Top Ten Turkey Tips


Waddle you be doing this Thanksgiving? Is your brain already stuffed from the pressure of having to come up with new recipes and ideas, and you can’t tell the gizzard from the giblets, then you’ve clucked on over to the right place.

Thanksgiving is the Super Bowl of food holidays, with a plethora of side dishes and a challenging bird to cook, and with two weeks to go until the main event, now is the perfect time to get your plans in place and prepare for the feast. It’s not hard to cook a turkey, but there are a few basic rules to follow in order to avoid some classic Turkey Day pitfalls.

Today we’re sharing Tony’s Top Ten Turkey Tips (T to the 5th) to help you get through Turkey Day with style. We’re also posting Turkey Thawing Guidelines, and Thanksgiving Wine Pairings, and below you can find a list of some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes – we will be featuring several of these recipes on the blog throughout the season, so be sure to stop by again.

Good Housekeeping also has a terrific chart called “How Much Do I Need?” to help you figure out serving sizes for various Thanksgiving dishes.

Before you get into the details, take a minute to let us know…How Do YOU Gobble?WHITE or DARK meat? Vote for your favorite in our poll located on the right side of the home page!

Helpful Thanksgiving Guides
Tony’s Top Ten Turkey Tips (T to the 5th!)

Tony’s Thanksgiving Wine Pairings
Tony’s Turkey Thawing Guidelines
Good Housekeeping’s Serving Size Chart

Baked Brie with Puff Pastry, Candied Pecans and Cranberry Sauce
Norwegian Meatballs
Cranberries Gone Wild Dip
Cranberry Focaccia Bread
Tony’s Marinated Olives
Homemade Crescent Rolls

Turkey Chipotle Chowder
Apple Butternut Soup
Cream of Chicken Soup
Cream of Parsnip Soup
Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkin Butternut Soup
Roasted Fennel Soup
Sweet Potato Soup with Andouille Sausage

Apple Spinach Salad
Honey Gorgonzola Hearts
Honey Poppy Seed Dressing
Winter Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Butternut Chicken Scaloppine
Stuffed Turkey Breast with Pomegranate Butter Sauce
Turkey Crepes with Pistachio Pesto

Sarello’s Whipped Potatoes
Green Beans Nasello

Comforting Mac n’ Cheese
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots
Apple Cheddar Bread Pudding
Fall Vegetable Casserole
Roasted Red Peppers
Pomegranate Butter Sauce
Pistachio Pesto 

Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce
Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Pumpkin Spice Macaroons
Real Whipped Cream

Apple Sausage Breakfast Ring
Homemade Bacon Pancakes
Easy Fresh Fruit Salad

DIY Gift Projects
Homemade Vanilla Extract
Homemade Limoncello
Peppermint Bark

Join Us Oct. 18 for Sarello’s Light Sunday Supper

Our next Light Sunday Supper at Sarello’s is this Sunday, Oct. 18th, featuring a light 3-course meal inspired by favorites from our column including Carrot Ginger Soup, Sicily Chicken and Pumpkin Macaroons…for just $23.

We still have some space available and would love to have you join us. Seatings are available on the half-hour between 5 to 7 PM, and you can make your reservation by emailing us to or call us at 218.287.0238.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Sarello's Sicily Chicken

Pumpkin Spice Macaroons with Chocolate

Blustery Day Antidote: Peggy Fisher’s Fall Vegetable Casserole

Peggy's Fall Vegetable Casserole veggie picLooking for a little warmth on this blustery fall day? Peggy Fisher’s Fall Vegetable Casserole is the perfect dose of savory comfort, and Tony showcased this easy, delicious and healthy recipe this morning on North Dakota Today.

We’ve fallen in love with the autumnal flavors in this recipe, which features a medley of carrots, potatoes, cabbage, onions and rutabaga. We hope you enjoy it just as much as we do.

CLICK HERE to watch Tony’s demonstration, or scroll down for the recipe.

Serves: 6 to 8

1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into chunks
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
4 to 5 baby red potatoes, peels left on, cut into quarters
2 cups cabbage, roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, peeled and cut into eighths
4 cubes beef bouillon, or 2 teaspoons granules
¼ to ½ cup water
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (half a stick) of butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place all the vegetables in a 9×13 baking dish, arranging them in a colorful presentation. Place the pats of butter,  bouillon cubes, and black pepper evenly around the dish. Pour ¼ cup of water over the vegetables, reserving the other ¼ cup if needed. The vegetables will produce their own water, so you shouldn’t need more than a half cup in total.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. To check for doneness, insert a fork into a couple different vegetables: if it slides through easily without breaking the vegetable, the dish is ready.

Tony’s Tips:

  • For even cooking, try to keep the vegetable pieces roughly the same size.
  • There is no salt used in this recipe, because the beef bouillon has its own salt content. Add salt only after serving, if desired.
  • Ovens vary, so start testing the vegetables after 75 minutes. Don’t let the vegetables become so soft that they become mushy.

Register for Kids CAN Cook at Sarello’s: After School Snacks Nov. 7th

Kids Can Cook collageWe had a great time with our young chefs earlier this month at Sarello’s, where they learned the art of the Scaloppine method by turning chicken breasts into tender, mouth-watering cutlets of breaded Sicily Chicken and Chicken Parmigiana.

In between, we introduced some basic knife skills by having each junior chef prepare their own salad (with specially-designed kid-friendly knives!), and they learned how to make homemade garlic bread – with each student getting to bring their own loaf home to share.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a class with Tony without some fun and games, and you can expect more of the same in future classes.

We love these events because they provide us with the opportunity to share our passion for food and the art of cooking with a new generation of cooks, who bring their own enthusiasm and excitement to the table – honestly, what’s not to love?

For our next class, we’ll be encouraging kids to move beyond the chips and cookies to create their own after-school snacks using fresh ingredients and easy recipes. Our 11-year-old son, Gio, loves to make mini pizzas using store-bought hoagie buns, homemade sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, and whatever else we can find in the fridge. These will definitely be on the menu for our Nov. 7th class, as well as a variety of creative, healthy and delicious snacks your child will be able to make at home.

Take a look at what’s coming up next…and if you have a young person in your life who would like to join us, we’d love to meet them!


Kids CAN Cook banner collage with wallpaper (800x267)

KIDS CAN COOK! A Hands-On Culinary Experience
10 AM, Saturday, November 7, 2015
Class Length: Approx. 3 hours
Class Fee: $55 per child

Kids CAN Cook at Sarello’s, and the fun will continue at our next class on Saturday, Nov. 7th, featuring easy and fun after-school snack recipes. In this hands-on class, our young chefs will learn how to make fresh and healthy snacks including mini pizzas, Gio’s easy faux escargots, and more.

Mini Pizzas unbaked

Gio's easy faux escargots duo

In addition, we’ll help them master basic knife skills using kid-friendly knives, and we’ll also share some tips on dining etiquette, including how to set, and sit at, a table. Then, we’ll sit down together to enjoy our creations for lunch.

If you have young people in your life who are interested in food and cooking, we would love to have them join us! Kids ages 8 to 14 are welcome; 6 and 7 year olds OK if older sibling also attending.


Our Kids CAN Cook series specifically caters to a young audience, and we find that kids are more food-adventurous when surrounded by their peers. Parents are encouraged to leave their kids in our care for the duration of the class, or wait in the comfort of the lounge until end of class.

Class fee is $55 per student, and payment is required at time of registration. As soon as we receive confirmation of your registration, we will contact you via email to provide further class details.

All class spaces are non-refundable, much like a sporting event or theater ticket. We request one week advance notice for cancellations; if cancellation is necessary and we are able to fill your space from our wait list, we will issue you a credit for the amount of your purchase, which may be used for future classes.

No exceptions can be made to this policy. In the event that Sarello’s cancels a class, a FULL REFUND will be given and you will be notified as soon as possible.