It's possible to trade profitably on the Forex, the nearly $2 trillion worldwide currency exchange market. But the odds are against you, even more so if you don't prepare and plan your trades. According to a 2014 Bloomberg report, several analyses of retail Forex trading, including one by the National Futures Association (NFA), the industry's regulatory body, concluded that more than two out of three Forex traders lose money. This suggests that self-education and caution are recommended. Here are some approaches that may improve your odds of taking a profit. Prepare Before You Begin Trading Because the Forex market is highly leveraged -- as much as 50 to 1 -- it can have the same appeal as buying a lottery ticket: some small chance of making a killing. This, however, isn't trading; it's gambling, with the odds long against you. A better way of entering the Forex market is to carefully prepare. Beginning with a practice account is helpful and risk-free. While you're trading in your practice account, read the most frequently recommended Forex trading books, among them Currency Forecasting: A Guide to Fundamental and Technical Models of Exchange Rate Determination, by Michael R. Rosenberg is short, not too sweet and highly admired introduction to the Forex market. Forex Strategies: Best Forex Strategies for High Profits and Reduced Risk, by Matthew Maybury is an excellent introduction to Forex trading. The Little Book of Currency Trading: How to Make Big Profits in the World of Forex, by Kathy Lien is another concise introduction that has stood the test of time. All three are available on Amazon. Rosenberg's book, unfortunately, is pricey, but it's widely available in public libraries. "Trading in the Zone: Master the Market with Confidence, Discipline and a Winning Attitude," by Mark Douglas is another good book that's available on Amazon, and, again, somewhat pricey, although the Kindle edition is not. Use the information gained from your reading to plan your trades before plunging in. The more you change your plan, the more you end up in trouble and the less likely that elusive forex profit will end up in your pocket. Diversify and Limit Your Risks Two strategies that belong in every trader's arsenal are: Diversification: Traders who execute many small traders, particularly in different markets where the correlation between markets is low, have a better chance of making a profit. Putting all your money in one big trade is always a bad idea. Familiarize yourself with ways guaranteeing a profit on an already profitable order, such as a trailing stop, and of limiting losses using stop and limit orders. These strategies and more are covered in the recommended books. Novice traders often make the mistake of concentrating on how to win; it's even more important to understand how to limit your losses. Be Patient Forex traders, particularly beginners, are prone to getting nervous if a trade does not go their way immediately, or if the trade goes into a little profit they get itchy to pull the plug and walk away with a small profit that could have been a significant profit with little downside risk using appropriate risk reduction strategies. In "On Any Given Sunday," Al Pacino reminds us that "football is a game of inches." That's a winning attitude in the Forex market as well. Remember that you are going to win some trades and lose others. Take satisfaction in the accumulation of a few more wins than losses. Over time, that could make you rich!

CHOCOLATE PISTACHIO PROFITEROLES

CHOCOLATE PISTACHIO PROFITEROLES
Move over boring, old vanilla cream puffs! There’s a new flavor in town! My chocolate-dipped pistachio profiteroles are epic! These cream puffs are made with a creamy pistachio filling that tastes simply incredible! Every bite tastes like a bit of heaven!! I made these a few weeks ago for my sister’s wedding and they were a huge hit with everyone. I got tons of raving reviews and requests for the recipe!
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
For Filling:
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 3/4 cup Irish cream
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese or mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup Irish cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups chocolate melts, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios, for garnish
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line 2 large baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Prepare the pate a choux dough first. Combine the water, salt and butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the butter is melted and the mixture comes up to a simmer.
  2. Add the flour all at once and stir with a spatula. Mix the flour in until a dough ball forms and pulls away from the sides; about 1 minute. Remove the dough from the heat and allow it to cool for 15 to 20 minutes until the dough is lukewarm.
  3. Begin adding one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition. Transfer the dough into a large pastry bag tipped with a large, round tip. Pack the dough into the bag without air pockets. Pipe equal sized dollops onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart.
  4. Bake the profiteroles at 425F for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature down to 375F and continue baking for 35 to 38 minutes, until the cream puffs are a rich, golden brown color. Do not open the oven door during the baking process!! Once the profiteroles are done, remove them from the oven and cool them completely on a wire rack.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the pistachio filling. Place the pistachios and 3/4 cup Irish cream into a food processor. Pulse for 3 to 4 minutes, scrapping down the sides occasionally, until a fine paste forms.
  6. In a mixing bowl, combine the softened butter and cream cheese. Whisk for 5 to 6 minutes, until the butter and cheese are fluffy; scrape down the sides often. Add the vanilla, salt, pistachio paste and additional Irish cream. Whisk again for a few minutes. Add the confectioner's sugar last and mix again for a few minutes until the filling is fluffy. Scrap down the sides of the mixing bowl often.
  7. To assemble the cream puffs: punch a hole into the bottom of each profiteroles using a knife or a filling tip such as Wilton tip #230. Transfer the pistachio filling into a large pastry bag and pipe each profiterole full of cream; pipe until a bit of cream starts to come out to ensure that they are full.
  8. To garnish the cream puffs, melt the chocolate melts then dip each cream puff into the chocolate, then place back onto a wire rack. Sprinkle each puff with crush pistachios.
  9. If not serving within a few hours, place the cream puffs into air tight containers and into the refrigerator. Remove about 30 minutes before enjoying to allow the cream to soften.

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