The Pretend Chef

Easy Hot cross buns

Sweet, soft and spicy Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross bun is a delicious sweet and soft spice bun, filled with juicy fruits. Though not commonly eaten in Nigeria, most people have heard about it. What with the nursery rhyme written about it, what kid didn’t sing it in kindergarten?

Hot Cross Buns have culture, tradition and history, which I like. It is a soft bun marked with a cross on top, the cross represents the


Easy apple hand pie

Indulgent Caramel apple filled apple hand pie
Apple pie is a sweet pie with a decadent and succulent apple filling, an excellent comfort food. It is mostly made as a dish pie but with all the pros of hand pies/ turnovers, most pies are now made into “pockets of convenience” especially to suit the fast pace of modern life.
For the past few weeks, I have been making different types of savoury pies, meat pie, fish pie and vegetable pie so today, I decided to showcase a sweet pie.
My first time eating apple pie was as a very young teenager during a summer vacation in London. It was served as dessert in the restaurant where we ate. It just did not taste good. The filling was almost like apple sauce. None of us liked it besides my kid sister. She hadn’t eaten much of the rest of the meal so she was overjoyed when nobody wanted theirs. She stuffed herself full of apple pie slices that day and readily fell in love with it.


Easy Spanish omelette

Thick, dense, rich and indulgent easy spanish omelette

Egg, Recipes, World food | April 24, 2017 | By

Easy Spanish Omelette, Spanish tortilla, Tortilla española or tortilla de patatas is a delicious Spanish appetiser, snack and picnic dish made with eggs and potatoes. It is thick and dense, rich and indulgent and can be served hot or cold, in large wedges or small cocktail size (hors d’oevure) with toothpicks.

The easy Spanish omelette bears no relationship to the Mexican tortilla rather it closely resembles


Coxinha, Brazilian chicken fritters

Crispy and elegant Coxinha, Brazilian chicken fritters

Coxinha, Brazilian chicken fritters is a popular street snack in Brazil and also an appetiser at parties. It is a fritter shaped like a chicken drumstick, the name coxinha means little chicken thigh. There are 3 layers to the coxinha, an outer crispy exterior, a middle layer of soft dough and a moist seasoned chicken filling. 


Funnel cake

Light, chewy, crunchy, not too sweet funnel cake

Desserts/ finger food, World food | February 24, 2017 | By

“….corn dogs, funnel cakes-burst seams are made of these!”

Funnel cake is a delightful and irresistible staple at Fairs and amusement parks. It is light, chewy, slightly crunchy and not too sweet with an intricate lattice pattern, perfect with different finger-licking toppings.

My introduction to Funnel cake was at the St. John’s NL annual Regatta, it was big, with a dusting of icing sugar and a huge dollop of whipped cream right in the middle and a generous drizzle of strawberry syrup all over it. It was simply amazing.


Sweetcorn egg drop Soup

Clean tasting sweetcorn egg drop soup

Soups/ light soups, World food | February 14, 2017 | By

Sweetcorn egg drop soup is one of the most popular and basic Chinese soups in Nigerian-Chinese restaurants. It is very simple and easy to make yet always looks impressive.

It is called egg drop because of the way the egg is drizzled into the soup while cooking it. This soup is also called egg flower soup because the egg poured in, blooms and looks like flowers in the soup.

Sweetcorn egg drop soup is ideal when you


Spaghetti and Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Easy and tasty spaghetti and meatballs in tomato sauce

Meat, Pasta, Recipes, Valentine's Day, World food | February 14, 2017 | By

Spaghetti and meatballs in Tomato Sauce is an Italian-American creation. A simple combination that was always meant to be. The meatballs are juicy, tender, light, well seasoned and won’t fall apart.

Meatballs can be eaten in a variety of ways, in a sauce, on hot dog bun, on pizza etc. For this dish, the sauce used is my simple and exquisitely delicious Fresh tomato sauce (Marinara sauce). Meatballs


Fresh tomato sauce

simple, well balanced fresh tomato sauce

Any fresh tomato sauce is only as good as the tomato used. The tomatoes should be fresh, good tasting, sweet, fleshy and fully ripe. A versatile sauce which is both an ingredient and a dish.

This recipe is a basic fresh tomato sauce, what Italians will call Marinara sauce. It is easy, simple and unpretentious. Marinara sauce is a base for many other dishes, just like the Nigerian tomato stew base. So make an exquisite pot of fresh tomato sauce and your other dishes that are based on it will be delectable. It can also be used as it is for a simple and quick pasta sauce because it is that delicious. 

This is the sauce base for spaghetti and meatballs, Homemade pizza, etc. The name changes


How to make homemade Pizza

simple,exquisite homemade pizza

Pizza that Italian classic that has as many variations as your imagination can think of. From the pizza dough (the crust) to the sauce or lack of sauce to the cheese and toppings, there are many, many different ways each can be made. One thing you should know is that pizza is about the crust.

Before we go wild with our imagination, bear in mind that the pizza should look inviting and taste awesome. My children love pizza with a capital L. In fact, daughter no. 2 can make it for Nigeria, when you get her to do it, that is. So we find ourselves


Coconut curry sauce

perfectly spicy and satisfying coconut curry sauce with white rice

Stews/ Sauces/ dips, World food | December 13, 2016 | By

This coconut curry sauce is spicy, earthy, warm and comforting. It is gloriously golden and super simple to make, sure to please even non-curry enthusiasts, you’ll love it.

Curries are Indian by origin but Nigerians being great travellers, usually come home with the knowledge of lots of different cuisines which are in turn either incorporated or adapted into the Nigerian cuisine. Also being that both cultures love spicy food, curries were easy to find their way into our way of life. Though not as commonly served as the Nigerian vegetable sauce, curry sauce is still special in its own right. Try pleasing your guests during the Christmas period with this curry.


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