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!

Tuscan Style Stuffed Mushrooms in Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

What comes to mind when you think of Tuscan food?

For me it’s Mediterranean style ingredients, grown under bright sunshine like tomatoes, olives and peppers. Lush dark green leaves, heart-healthy beans and pulses. A cuisine that makes the most of vegetables, but can also include simply prepared meats and tangy or creamy, indulgent cheeses.

  • 4 Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour (replace with gluten free flour blend if needed)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g fresh baby spinach
  • 60 g soft goats cheese use a vegetarian version if required
  • 30 g parmesan cheese grated (use a vegetarian hard cheese if required, as parmesan isn't vegetarian)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 160 g sun dried tomatoes I like the bright red one from the deli counter
  • 1 red bell pepper de-seeded and sliced
  • 1 medium courgette zucchini chopped into chunks
  • 90 ml white wine
  • 120 ml vegetable stock
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 90 ml double (heavy) cream
  • 50 g parmesan cheese grated (use a vegetarian hard cheese if required, as parmesan isn't vegetarian)
  • 90 g fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  1. Cut the stalk out of the mushrooms and finely chop them. They can go in the sauce later.
  2. Whisk the egg lightly in a shallow bowl.
  3. In a separate shallow bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, paprika and garlic salt.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan (skillet) on a medium-to-high heat. Dip the mushrooms in the egg (all over), then dip in the flour mixture. Coat the outside of the mushrooms, but try not to get too much flour in the inside bit.
  5. Place the mushrooms in the pan and fry on both sides until lightly golden. Use a set of tongs to brown the mushrooms on the sides too.
  6. Take the mushrooms out of the and place on a grill tray. Throw the spinach in the hot pan with a splash of water and a pinch of salt and pepper. Move it around the pan for a minute until wilted.
  7. Break the goats cheese into chunks and place in the mushrooms. Top with the wilted spinach and sprinkle the parmesan/veg-hard-cheese on top. Sprinkle on a pinch of paprika too. Put to one side for a few minutes.
  8. Now start on the sauce. Add the oil to the pan and heat on a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes until it starts to soften. Add the reserved mushroom stalks, garlic, oregano, paprika, sun dried tomatoes, red peppers and courgette (zucchini). Cook for 2 minutes, moving around the pan with a spatula, then pour in the wine. Allow to bubble for 2 minutes, then add the vegetable stock, salt and pepper. Bring the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, heat up the grill (broiler) and place the mushrooms under the grill. Grill under a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese melts. Remove from the grill.
  10. Stir the cream, parmesan/veg-hard-cheese and spinach into the sauce, then nestle the mushrooms on top.
  11. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the spinach wilts and the sauce thickens.
  12. Serve topped with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.
  13. Tastes great on it's own or served with salad, pasta or potatoes.
Recipe Adapted : Tuscan Style Stuffed Mushrooms in Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Sauce @ kitchensanctuary


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