Another great recipe from the Debbie Macomber "Cedar Cove Cookbook." Anything with bacon always taste better!
8 oz. bacon
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 Tblsp all purpose flour
1-1/2 c. whole milk
1 lb frozen, shredded hash brown potatoes
1/2 c. snipped fresh chives
1-1/4 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350* Butter an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Cook bacon in a large heavy skillet over med-high heat until crisp. Remove slices; drain on a paper towel lined plate. In same skillet over med-low heat, cook onion and pepper in bacon drippings for about 8 minutes or until softened; stirring often. Reduce heat under skillet to low. Stir in flour. Slowly pour in milk, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring to incorporate smoothly with the flour. Cook until mixture thickens & comes to a simmer, about 3 minutes; stirring often. Crumble bacon into mixture. Evenly spread potatoes into prepared dish. Top with half of the chives, 1 cup of the cheese & all of the vegetable-bacon mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Bake for 40 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with remaining chives before cutting into squares.