a tale of two foods

I have good news and I have bad news.

The bad news is I learned just how bad cucumbers can go. Yes, it's true, cucumbers get mailable, mushy, excrete large amounts of yellowish-green liquid, and are downright disgusting when left in an unopened refrigerator drawer. In my defense I'm still getting used to all the new compartments in my fridge, and the particular cucumber dwelling drawer was not one I used often...or for at least two, possibly three weeks. Gross. And the sad thing is I really LOVE cucumbers and would have enjoyed eating them had I remembered they were in said drawer.

The good news is I tried a new recipe and we loved it. It is always such an unknown to try a new one, but it was time. So I got online and just searched a few blogs. I came across one called "Vintage Victuals," went to her index, clicked on "chicken recipes" and tried the first one that came up. It is called CHEDDAR-BACON-RANCH-CHICKEN AND RICE BAKE and it tastes just about as delicious as it sounds. Yum.

[This is her picture, not mine, but it pretty much looked the same]:
One of the beauties of this little dish was that it was super easy. It took me about 8 minutes to throw together! Seriously.

Cheddar-Bacon-Ranch Chicken & Rice Bake

1 1/2 cups uncooked rice (white or brown)
1 10.5-ounce can cream of chicken soup
1 can of water
1 can of milk
1 1-ounce packet of ranch seasoning mix
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
4 medium-sized chicken breasts [I used 6 smaller ones]
2 cups cheddar cheese
6-8 slices of bacon, cut into 1″ pieces

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9×13 inch baking dish, combine the rice, the soup, the water, the milk, the ranch seasoning, and the diced peppers. Stir until well combined. Place the chicken breasts on top of the rice mixture. Cover the dish with tin foil and wrap tightly. [I forgot to do this part, and it turned out fine...so to wrap or not to wrap...]

Bake for 45 minutes. In the meantime, lightly brown the bacon pieces over medium heat in a small frying pan. [I used one of the great wonders of this world- pre-cooked bacon that you stick in the microwave for roughly ten seconds...delicious!]. Remove chicken dish from oven and sprinkle with the shredded cheese and the browned bacon pieces. Return to the oven for about 5-7 minutes so that the cheese melts and bubbles. Serve hot. Yield 4-6 servings.

Yum. And clean up is super easy too [especially if you use the pre-cooked bacon] because you make it all in the 9 X 13 dish!