TODAY   |  November 19, 2013

Try Sandra Lee’s turkey twist for Thanksgiving

Sandra Lee stops by the TODAY kitchen with some alternative recipes for Turkey Day including turning the bird into a baked tetrazzini and crafting cream cheese and cranberry bars instead of the traditional sauce.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> we're back now at 8:45 with today's kitchen. almost turkey time. but if you're looking for an alternative recipe for thanksgiving day or maybe even better, the day after, sandra lee is here to help. the latest issue of sandra lee everything made easy is filled with great ideas. sandra, good morning, welcome back.

>> hello.

>> an almost happy thanksgiving.

>> yes.

>> earlier in the show i said this is a great alternative for your turkey day feast. i don't buy that. you still have the traditional turkey day feast. this is great for the day after.

>> this is great for the day after and great for football. this is a fabulous comfort food and in honor of the tom the turkey float which i will be on this year.

>> congratulations. we'll be talking about you out there.

>> this is my recipe. in here is just some butter with sliced mushrooms with a little bit of garlic seasoning in here.

>> okay.

>> i already boiled off a pound of spaghetti.

>> you could use another kind of pasta if you wanted to.

>> sure.

>> this is 10 minutes here and a cup of the reserved water.

>> you always hold a little water, why?

>> it adds flavor.

>> i don't mean you personally.

>> so in here -- he always loves to be nice to me.

>> i do.

>> this is just some white sauce .

>> when you say it's just some white sauce , where do you get it or how do you make it?

>> butter, flour and some milk.

>> then half and half to thicken it up. and just a little bit of sherry in here and also your water. we're going to go in here and stir that up. i want you to add the -- first of all the turkey --

>> okay. now you've got what looks to be mostly white meet turkey. can you use a little mix?

>> you can use anything you like. it doesn't have to be turkey. you can do chicken too. i'm going to pour in cheese.

>> which kind of cheese did you use?

>> mozzarella cheese . do you want to pour the spaghetti in that's precooked? and that's about 10 minutes on the spaghetti. then the whole thing goes into a prepared pan.

>> okay i'll slide here for a second.

>> so it has to bake otherwise it's just simmered for awhile and now it goes into the oven.

>> 325 for 30 minutes .

>> look at the beautiful meat and mushrooms. on top you're going to put parmesan and bacon and you can also just use more turkey if you like.

>> so let's be honest also here. between the white sauce and the half and half and the parmesan -- this is not for people looking to shed a few pounds the day after thanksgiving?

>> well, with comfort food --

>> i get it.

>> you really don't want -- this is full cream cheese . you wouldn't want to use a low fat cream cheese or a -- you want to use philadelphia cream cheese .

>> we moved on to dessert now.

>> that's in the oven. we'll taste that in a second.

>> i'm making the icing to go on our cream cheese bars. very easy. 2 1/2 cups of ground graham crackers and butter. pat it down in the pan and bake it for 10 minutes on 350.

>> okay.

>> that way you get a nice solid crust and the wet mixture won't soak in and make it soggy.

>> okay.

>> then on top of that, you're going to use four 8 ounce bricks. philadelphia again, don't do low fat . sugar, vanilla. whip that up. add four eggs but one egg at a time because you need them to be distributed well throughout the cream cheese . and then you're going to add a half package of white chocolate chips. half a package of dried cranberries . pour it in there. top it with the rest of the white chocolate chips and cranberry. bake it 30 minutes . taste one of those. i'm making the icing and you'll do the final drizzle. everybody in this room is trying to figure out how to get one of those bars off that platter right there.

>> can i tell you something?

>> oh, no.

>> this is fabulous. i love cream cheese . this is fabulous. i love cheesecake. this is great.

>> it's easy to make. the icing is simple too. again some cream cheese and vanilla powdered sugar and milk. this is going to be a thin icing. you want to whisk this. fork it and whisk it together. you have some here. you were supposed to do --

>> i'm sorry.

>> go ahead and eat. go ahead and eat.

>> you give me too many orders.

>> drizzle it over the top .

>> all you have to do is drizzle. it doesn't have to be a certain way orphan si.

>> that's done cooking. that just dries on top.

>> you want to leave this out to cool.

>> i can't wait until the day after thanksgiving. thank you very much. happy holidays . always good to see you. you can see these recipes and more on our website at