Cheese souffle squares recipe with Mimi Francez | Entertainment/Life

A twinkling glow emanated from every nook of Mimi McGlasson Francez’s home which had just been decorated for Christmas, but the most beautiful sight was in her freezer. Each frosty shelf was lined with homemade appetizers — rosemary cashews, olive balls and meat pies — all wrapped with care, promising warm tastiness to come for the holiday season.

Francez, a hostess extraordinaire, is always ready with appetizers to start her parties off right — whether at her home with family and friends or at a fundraiser for the Lafayette Museum Association of which she is vice president. She recently shared one of her favorites — baked petits fours — slightly messy in their making but a delight to bring to parties for the “oohs” and “aahs” they elicit with each bite.

Her description of the recipe for these tiny squares of deliciousness made my butter-loving heart skip a beat. Hearing the ingredients was like discovering we had a dear mutual friend. “Old English spread, butter, dill and Pepperidge Farm very thin-sliced white sandwich bread — anything thicker just won’t do,” she said.

Could this be the same toasted deliciousness my grandmother made when I was a kid?

“Does it call for Beau Monde seasoning?” I asked recalling this special ingredient that was a secret imperative of my grandmother’s recipe. 

“Well, yes, if you can find it,” she replied.

Beau Monde is called for in an older version of the recipe Francez has used — Cheese Souffle Sandwiches found in “The Cotton Country Collection,” compiled by the Junior League of Monroe. The elusive Beau Monde seasoning is a trademarked spice blend made simply of salt, sweetener, onion, celery seed and a pinch of an anti-caking agent. Often unable to find the spice blend locally, Francez leaves it out.

One ingredient not to be substituted or omitted is the Old English spread. This shelf-stable jarred cheese concocted in the 1950s was…

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