How can I time the meal so everything is still hot when I serve it?  

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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There are lots of tricks for getting the timing of all your food right, but here's one that helps no matter what you're serving. Before dinner, run all the dishes through the rinse cycle of your dishwasher, and leave it closed until you're ready to serve. The plates will be nice and warm, which helps keep the food warm as it makes its way to the table.

If you need some last-minute help with your holiday entertaining, see Holiday Menus & Parties.

Marge Perry
Dec, 2010

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