Need help for Thanksgiving?

There’s lots of advice out there for everyone hosting their first Thanksgiving, or even old hands wondering how to rev up their traditional feast. Some options:

Butterball Turkey Talk-Line: 1-800-288-8372, or visit for videos, tips and recipes.

Crisco Pie Hotline: 1-877-367-7438, with tips available 24 hours a day, or talk to live pie experts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Twin Cities time Monday-Friday. Visit for tips and recipes. For all sorts of recipes and advice, visit and type “Thanksgiving” in the search field.

USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: For questions about food safety, call 1-888-674-6854, or visit

Martha Stewart: She comes through, of course, with info at www.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper: She will host her annual “Turkey Confidential” from 10 a.m. to noon Thanksgiving Day on MPR, 91.1 FM; call 1-800-537-5252 with questions. Or check the Web page at turkey-confidential.

Kowalski’s Markets: Its website is stuffed with info about proper turkey temperature, side dishes and more. Visit and type “Thanksgiving” in the search field.

Star Tribune Taste: See our videos on how to carve a turkey, how to make a pie crust, and how to make a pumpkin roulade or biscuits at For baking ideas, go to


Got a breakthrough idea?

The Minnesota Cup is an annual competition to support development of the best breakthrough ideas from across the state. That’s often meant ideas such as medical devices or energy development. But this year, for the first time, a Food, Agriculture and Beverage category is being added. Also, the total prize money awarded has been boosted to $300,000. The new category was added to emphasize food’s important role, playing off University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler’s recent comment about positioning Minnesota as “the ‘Silicon Valley’ of food, through research to produce a safe, secure, abundant, nutritious, and sustainable food supply.” For more information and details on how to enter for 2014, visit


Tradition ripe for change?

The Bison Council, which promotes the taste, versatility and health benefits of the animal also known as buffalo, is encouraging Thanksgiving hosts to “flip the bird” this year and give bison a try. Bison’s nutritional values also measure favorably to turkey, with a serving having less cholesterol, less total fat and fewer calories than such poultry. Unconvinced? The council’s website features several humorous videos and, of course, several recipes to persuade you that a bison rib roast, tenderloin with cherry onion chutney, or baked bison hickory sausage and artichoke dip is the ticket. To learn more, visit