Using plate warmers and serving trays designed to keep foods at a consistant temperature is a great idea for holiday entertaining.
Buffet tables are a convenient way to serve dinner while entertaining your guests during the holiday celebrations, but leaving food out too long can make your friends and family ill by inviting bacterias that cause foodborne illnesses.
I used to entertain all of the time and using plate warmers and serving trays designed to keep foods at a consistant temperature is a great idea.
This year I picked up a cute little, clear display for serving condiments (On super, special sale for only $7.50) that is designed to hold ice, keeping whatever I put in the containers at a safe temperature.
In addition, make sure your foods are cooked thoroughly. Serving directly from your crock pot may sound tacky, but your guests would rather not receive the gift of food poisoning from you this year.
Have plenty of utensils and toothpicks on hand. Nobody likes a double-dipper!
Never leave foods out for more than two hours. When I serve, for example, a meat and cheese tray, I simply make smaller plates to keep in the refrigerator and I set a fresh one on the buffet table as needed. I do the same with desserts, too.
(Some of my friends have been incredibly ill the day following our parties, but that is self-induced over-indulgence and can’t count against me!)