Entertaining into the New Year

Entertaining into the New Year!

By Jacqueline Gomes, MBA, RDN

Are you ready for one final push with your holiday festivities? It’s time to ring in 2023 with a special evening filled with delicious foods, friends and family.

Appetizers – a great way to keep guests entertained while they’re waiting for the ball to drop. Keep it simple with cheese platters, shrimp cocktail, crackers and dip; tea sandwiches and bacon wrapped scallops just to name a few. When in doubt…pop some frozen Hors d’oeuvres in the oven!

Main entrée: Enjoy more time with your guests and prepare dinner buffet style. Create a special dish for a special evening, salmon is a rich flavored fish that is easy to prepare and nutrient rich in protein and omega-3’s.

What about portions? Generally, for poultry, meat and fish you can plan on 6 ounces per person.  When you consider, appetizers and side dishes this should be plenty.

Desserts: Finger style desserts like cookies, biscotti, chocolate covered berries and lemon bars work great to keep people mingling!

 Side Dishes: Pasta is a crowd pleaser! For pasta, calculate about two ounces (dry) per person if it’s being served as a side dish. If pasta is your main, figure about four ounces per person.

 Waiting For the ball drop: There are many traditions around the world that serve different foods or drinks when the ball is about to drop. In my family we eat grapes as we count down from 12 to Happy New Year; we make a wish for each grape we eat.

Bourbon Salmon

Bourbon Glazed Salmon Bites

Prep: 10 to 15 minutes

Makes: 20 to 25 servings



  • 1 pound fresh Atlantic salmon fillets, thick cut
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Bourbon Glaze

  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ sweet onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup beef broth
  • ¼ cup lower sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (see note)
  • Red pepper flakes, (optional)
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced


  1. Prepare glaze: Heat olive oil over low-medium heat in a saucepan, add onion and garlic. Sauté until soft and tender (careful not to burn), about 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add in brown sugar, broth, soy sauce, vinegar, bourbon and red pepper flakes if using. Bring heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Continue to cook until thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, cut salmon into 20 to 25 bite-sized cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat an indoor grill pan over high heat, spray with cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil. Place salmon skin side down and grill for 4 to 5 minutes, turn over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes more. Drizzle with glaze during last 2 minutes of cooking.
  5. Place salmon on a serving platter, place toothpick in the center of each piece and sprinkle with sliced scallions, serve warm or cold.


  • You may substitute the bourbon with cognac, brandy, rum or almond extract.