Full disclosure: If you are a foodie creative that wants to learn how to take the best food pics for your Instagram feed, you NEED to listen to our latest episode with Mira Zaki. Obsessed with taking Polaroids as kid, Mira received a degree in Commercial Advertising Photography with her work published on Edible Brooklyn, Edible Manhattan and the New York Times (just to name a few). Through her travels along with her Egyptian background, she developed a love for food. Mira’s passion for photography and food brought her to a 5-year career photographing for the James Beard Foundation. Being part of such a prestigious experience, she has had her fair share of exotic dishes and meeting celebrity chefs. What’s Mira’s advice for leading such an exciting life and career? To quote her favorite band, Pearl Jam, “Always remember what your pilot was” a.k.a. what sparks your passion and curiosity?  She promotes living a life fueled by the things you love! To learn more about what lighting and angles get your foodie pics more Insta-likes, and the Canon camera you need to start your food photography career, stay tuned to this week’s podcast.

Mira Zaki’s Food Photography

Try This Week’s Recipe

Mira Zaki’s Mom’s Egyptian Style Basbusa (as seen on Food52)

Mom’s Egyptian Style Basbusa

Basbusa Ingredients

  • 3cups Cream of Wheat Cereal or Farina (regular not instant)
  • 2cups Granulated sugar
  • 1cup Low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1/2teaspoon Salt
  • 1piece Blanched Almond per piece of Basbusa


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line 13×9 baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. Gather Basbusa dry ingredients: Cream of Wheat, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
  4. In a large bowl, stir cream of wheat, salt, baking powder and sugar well
  5. After dry ingredients are mixed well, add yogurt and mix to blend.
  6. Pour batter evenly into 13×9 parchment paper lined pan.
  7. Bake Basbusa for 30 minutes at 350F (be sure to not overbake!!)
  8. Remove from oven after 30 minutes and score into squares or diamond shapes.
  9. After scoring Basbusa, place one whole blanched almond in the center of each piece.
  10. Put Basbusa back into the oven at 350F and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until top is golden brown.
  11. While Basbusa is baking, start preparing syrup.

Syrup Ingredients

  • 2cups Granulated sugar
  • 2cups Water
  • 1tablespoon Rosewater


  1. In a medium-sized pot, place sugar and water.
  2. Stir sugar and water on medium heat until sugar dissolves.
  3. After sugar dissolves, simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat after 10-15 minutes have passed.
  5. Add Rosewater to the sugar/water syrup and stir.
  6. Set syrup aside until Basbusa is done.
  7. When Basbusa is done, carefully remove from oven.
  8. Pour syrup immediately all over Basbusa and cover with foil tightly.
  9. Allow syrup to fully absorb into Basbusa.
  10. After Syrup has fully absorbed, serve at room temperature (best served with whipped cream)

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Take a look at Mira’s work here. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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