Recipes that appear in Idea Alley have not been tested by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

As I write this, Arkansas is bracing for another round of snowy weather (which will be but a distant memory by the time you read this). The calendar and the budding trees and flowers tell me spring is springing forth, even if the weather is uncooperative. This week’s recipes are excellent fits for early spring or even Easter, for those planning that far ahead.

First up is this casserole from Joe Riddle. It would make a great brunch dish or use for Easter ham leftovers.

This recipe is from Cypress, Ill.’s West Eden United Methodist Church’s “200 Years of Home Cooking By Family and Friends” cookbook.

Ham Casserole

  • 1 (12-ounce) package egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 pound Velveeta, cubed
  • 3 cups baked ham, chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In large stockpot, cook noodles according to package instructions, drain and set aside.

In large skillet, melt butter and olive oil. Saute the celery, bell pepper, onion and garlic.

In saucepan, add soup, 1 soup can of water and the Velveeta. Heat on low until cheese is melted, stirring occasionally.

Return cooked noodles to stockpot. Add the ham, cooked vegetables and soup mixture and stir to combine.

Pour into greased 13-by-9 baking dish and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

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“Here’s a recipe I hope other Kats will enjoy,” Linda Concoby writes.

If you can’t find Midori, Concoby suggests using Bols Melon Liqueur or DeKuyper Melon Liqueur.

Concoby also includes a recipe for making your own melon liqueur, which she got from

Midori Honeydew Melon Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Midori or other melon liqueur, divided use
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring, divided use
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, yogurt, vegetable oil, ¾ cup Midori and ½ teaspoon coconut flavoring. Beat at medium speed for 4 minutes. Pour into a well-greased Bundt pan. Bake 35 to 45 minutes.

In medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, remaining Midori, cream cheese, butter and remaining coconut flavoring and beat on high until smooth and spreadable.

Spread frosting over warm cake.

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DIY Midori

  • ¼ ripe honeydew melon, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 cup vodka
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 drops green food coloring
  • 3 drops yellow food coring

Place the honeydew in a bowl and mash until some of the juice is released; pour into a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth, 10 to 15 seconds. Measure 1 cup of the melon puree, and pour into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add vodka, sugar, and green and yellow food coloring. Cover and shake until the sugar is dissolved. Store at room temperature for 1 week.

Strain the melon mixture into a bowl through a paper towel-lined sieve to remove any solid bits. (You may need to do this multiple times.) Pour the vodka into a bottle, and seal until ready to use.

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