Q&A with Cristina
Paper plates have a place—at a picnic! I like to serve meals on dishes and drinks in glasses because I want my guests to feel special. How would you feel if you were looking forward to going over to someone's home and they served you a meal on a paper plate? It's all a matter of how you wish to take care of someone you've invited into your home to enjoy a meal you have prepared. Plus, I think wine always taste better in a glass; it doesn't taste the same in a paper cup!
Sit with your company after dinner and wait until they leave before you wash the dishes.
I know it's a pain to clean up, but if a guest "asks" to help clean up, I always say, "No, thank you" first. However, if they ask again, I quickly hand them a towel and say, "Sure!" (Why not?) Some of the most fun and best laughs come from being together in the kitchen cleaning up!
I only wait 30 to 45 minutes—tops—before I serve dinner. I don't believe in long cocktail hours. People are hungry, and I feel it's being inconsiderate to keep people waiting too long.
Speaking of inconsiderate, if I have asked guests to be at the house by 7 p.m., I won't wait for people who arrive past the 45-minute mark. Why should I keep the people who showed up on time waiting for someone who is late? Now that's a no-no!
Have fun at your next dinner party!