Sweet and savory holiday treats from Gabriel's Restaurant & Bakery

- Holiday entertaining can be overwhelming this time of year, but Johnnie Gabriel, the owner of Gabriel's Restaurant and Bakery, has some creative ideas for a mix of sweet and savory treats to make your next party stress free. Johnnie Gabriel stopped by Good Day Atlanta to teach viewers how to create flavorful bite size treats just in time for the holiday season.  

For more on Gabriel's Restaurant and Bakery, click here. For today's recipe see below.  

Sun-Dried Tomato Cheese ball

3 (8 0z packages cream cheese, softened)
1 (7 oz jar oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 clove garlic, halved
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds or pine nuts, toasted

In the bowl of a food processor equipped with the knife blade, add the cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and garlic.  Process the mixture until smooth.  Roll into a ball and then wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill thoroughly.  
When the mixture is chilled enough to hold its shape, roll the ball in the chopped nuts, pressing the nuts into the ball and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate up to 5 days.
Serve with crackers. 


11 1/2 oz milk chocolate chips
6 oz semisweet chips
3/4 whipping cream
2 1/2 tsp extract/flavoring (orange, liquor, coconut, peppermint etc...) 
1 1/2 cup of finely chopped toasted nuts, sprinkles, cocoa powder, graham cracker crumbs etc...

Combine chocolate chips in bowl.  In a saucepan, bring cream to a gentle boil.  Immediately
pour over chips and let stand for 1 minute.  Whisk until smooth.  Add extract.  Cover and chill
for 35 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.  beat for 10 - 15 seconds or just until mixture
lightens in color (do not over beat).  Spoon rounded teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper lined
baking sheets.  Cover and chill for 5 minutes.  Gently shape into balls and roll into garnish.
Store in refrigerator.

Popcorn Balls - Rocky Road

3 cups miniature marshmallows
¼ cup butter
½ cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts
½ cup miniature chocolate chips
8 cups freshly popped popcorn

Place the marshmallows and butter into a large pot over medium low heat, and melt them
together, stirring often.  Cook until blended and smooth, about 5 minutes and remove from heat.
Stir in the popcorn and peanuts and stir gently to thoroughly coat them with the marshmallow
mixture.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
With greased hands, shape the mixture into 3 inch balls, and wrap each ball
In plastic wrap.

Tom McEachern’s Meatballs - recipe shared for publication in “Second Helpings” cookbook by
Johnnie Gabriel - 2010.  These meatballs can be served as an entree with any red spaghetti
sauce or with Susan’s Meatball Sauce as an appetizer.

3 large eggs
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ tablespoon black pepper
2 pounds ground chuck
1 tablespoon parsley
½ cup shallots
1 cup Progresso bread crumbs

Preheat conventional oven to 350 degrees , convection oven to 325 degrees
In a large bowl, mix the eggs and cream and whisk in salt & pepper.
Add the ground chuck, parsley, shallots & breadcrumbs & mix well.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Scoop and form about 60 1-inch balls for appetizers,
30-2 inch for main dish service.  Place on the lined sheet pan and roast in the oven 25 minutes
or until meatball reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Turn halfway through to brown more evenly.  Remove from the oven and let stand for about 10
minutes and add to warm sauce if serving immediately.  If serving later, let cool about 30
minutes, bag and refrigerate.

Susan Hutcheson’s Meatball Sauce - given to Johnnie Gabriel for FOX 5 TV presentation,

1 cup brown sugar
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup prepared horseradish

Mix together, cook on high until mixture starts to boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook until sauce
thickens, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Serve meatballs in warm sauce in a chafing dish over medium heat or serve meatballs and
sauce separately for dipping, both kept warm in separate chafing dishes.

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