TODAY   |  November 24, 2013

Sandra Lee cooks up a Thanksgiving feast

The countdown to Thanksgiving is on and chef Sandra Lee offered ideas for a complete Thanksgiving meal that is both easy and delicious. The TODAY anchors helped make her sweet potato pumpkin pie.

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

>> she's the editor and chief

"sandra lee: everything made easy."

>> happy thanksgiving.

>> we're going to started with the bird which is sort of the main event here. it's an herb bird, tough to say. tell us about it.

>> this is an herb buttered bird. you'll cook a smaller bird, they take about 20 minutes a pound on 325. here is the trick. if you want a moist beautiful tasting bird, you'll take a stick of butter and add to that a garlic herb packet. it either makes a dip or soup, you'll take that dry pact, put it with garlic and stir it up, you'll put it underneath the skin and on top. half and half .

>> is this how you get this --

>> you can see the herbs are actually on the meat.

>> rice-based stuffing.

>> this is a wild rice i cooked with little chicken stock . in there i put mandarin oranges , cranberries whole from the can. it's got onions, herbs and peppers already in with it.

>> what's going on with this cocktail?

>> let's get right to it.

>> the beautiful thing about this is that it's made and kept warm in your slow cooker, so you don't have to tend to it. you put in everything cold and heat it up over an hour on low. in here is two bottles of wine, there's red and white.

>> one of each.

>> one of each. then you have whiskey in there. you can put more than one, depends on your guest. you can put whiskey or bourbon in here. then also you'll do some cherries, some frozen cherries, some frozen beaches and also cinnamon sticks, and then i also have sliced up oranges in here.

>> that is really nice.

>> the citrus really makes it special.

>> a lot going on in here.

>> isn't that beautiful?

>> so warm.

>> let's talk pies. everybody is scared of them. you'll do pumpkin- sweet potato . usually it we do both.

>> oh, look who shows up.

>> lester, you'll be in charge of the pie crust . you're on this side.

>> you've already pre baked this.

>> yes. what you'll do is take a deep dish pie crust and fork it. then you're going to blind bake it in the oven on 3475 for about ten minutes. that will give you a beautiful dark crust. that's how you don't get a saki crust. the first layer in here will be your pumpkin cream cheese layer. you got to go full boat and the good stuff on the cream cheese .

>> no reduced fat.

>> philadelphia cream cheese , no low-fat anything. you're going to do pumpkin pur?e and maple flavoring. pumpkin pie spice , sugar and an egg. that's all that is. you are hitting the sweet potatoes , add sweetened condensed milk.

>> and some egg.

>> two eggs.

>> what is it about the sweet potato that goes so well with the pumpkin.

>> the combination of the two, this is vanilla in here. look at the pie. you're going to wear this in a minute.

>> so now that, go ahead -- can i have that just real quickly?

>> i can normally do it. see, it's a weird one.

>> it's not you.

>> it's the mixer.

>> so we layer this --

>> pour this on top.

>> as you pour it on top, tell us how long