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!

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

There is nothing like a rich, flavorful  homemade chicken pot pie with golden brown flaky pie crust.  It’s one of my favorite soul foods. Actually, everyone in our family is a fan of a good homemade chicken pot pie made with love.


It’s very easy to make a chicken pot pie. It’s hard to make a great chicken pot pie where all ingredients just work together and nothing stands out and overpowers. In this recipe, all ingredients are in perfect balance and give you a wonderful, hearty and delicious filling.

Great chicken makes great chicken pot pie. You want to use juicy, perfectly cooked chicken meat. Dry chicken meat is a no go. All that gravy in the filling will not be able to make a dry, overcooked chicken taste good.


The secret to soft, flaky pie crust is keeping the butter very cold, not overworking the dough, and adding a little bit of vinegar. Vinegar prevents formation of gluten which makes the pie crust tough and dense.

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
There is nothing like a rich, flavorful  homemade chicken pot pie with golden brown flaky pie crust.



Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • A small onion finely chopped
  • A medium carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 1 cup condensed chicken broth or 1 cup water plus 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 medium size russet potato peeled and diced
  • 2 medium size baked chicken breasts diced (link to the recipe is in the post)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the pie pastry:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup 227 g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 egg yolk plus 2 tsp milk mixed well, for brushing

Instructions

  1. To prepare the filling, combine 4 tablespoons of the softened butter with the flour in small bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the milk. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, add two tablespoons of butter and saute the onion, carrot, and celery over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the broth and the potatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.
  5. Add the butter and flour mix and bring to a gentle boil, constantly stirring.
  6. Pour in the milk and cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chicken and peas. Cover and let cool.
  7. To prepare the pie dough, in a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse a few times until the butter is the size of peas. Add the water and vinegar and pulse a few more times. It does not need to come to a ball. It will look like a big pile of crumbs, and that's what you want. 
  8. Remove the dough from the food processor and place on a large piece of Saran wrap. Twist the plastic to tighten the dough into a ball. Cut into two pieces, and flatten each piece into a disk. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. 
  9. Alternatively, twist the plastic wrap on both ends, as if you were wrapping a candy. 
  10. Cut the dough into 8 disks. This will make 4 portioned chicken pot pies that can be baked in ramekens.
  11. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  12. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the two dough discs into two circles, one about 13 inches in diameter and the other about 10 inches in diameter. With a sharp knife, make a few slits in the second (10 inch) dough circle. Line a 9-inch pie dish with the larger dough circle. The dough should overhang the dish by about 1/2 inches.
  13. If making 4 single portion pot pies, roll out 4 disks into 8"-9" circles and 4 disks into 5"-6" circles respectively.
  14. Spoon the chicken filling into the baking dish. 
  15. Cover with the second sheet of dough. Crimp the edges and tuck them in. Brush the top with egg yolk wash. If making single portion pot pies in ramekens, repeat the process four times.
  16. Bake on the rack positioned in the middle of the oven for about 50 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

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