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A few ideas I use to keep foods hot from preparing to serving them. Nothing aggravates me more than to sit down to eat and find that the meal I have just cooked is not hot enough.
One easy one is with frozen waffles. When they are frozen and you are supposed to just pop them in the toaster. They are never hot enough! Microwave them on a paper towel for just 10 seconds before putting them in the toaster. Put your butter and maple syrup in a small container, and heat in the microwave. You will have nice hot waffles.
When you are serving a dish in a large serving bowl, you can let it sit in hot water or if this dish can be put in the oven, put it in on 125 degrees F for 15 minutes before serving time. I also serve hot food on hot dinnerware, and cold food on cold dinnerware. I heat the plates in hot water or if I can, in the oven.
For summertime salads and cold foods I pop them in the freezer 10 minutes before serving. This works for me, I hope this helps you.
This is a page about keeping food warm at parties. You don't need expensive warming trays and steam tables to keep food warm at your next party.