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 and Toasted Hazelnut Milk

chocolate and toasted hazelnut milk
Like most people with at least a passing interest in foods made from recognizable ingredients, I’ve heard a lot about almond milk in the last decade. But my love of all things milk, cream, crème fraîche, sour cream, double-cream, triple-creme, dulce de leche, sweetened condensed milk and milk fudge (you know, just to get started) was such that I had little interest in making it a regular part of my life.
well-toasted hazelnuts
soaking in water overnight or longer

Plus, there was so much that I didn’t understand. First, most recipes call for raw almonds. Have you ever tasted a raw almond before? They taste, to me, terrible, like waxy nothingness. Why stretch this waxy nothingness into a glass of liquid? However, you know that flavor you get when you deeply toast almonds to a nice milky coffee (mm, milky coffee) shade, that incredible flavor which is amazing in pastries as it is on salads and even for a plain snack? Why weren’t we making almond milk out of toasted almonds — was it just the shade? Does beige “milk” unnerve people?
looking real murky the next day
rinsing the nuts
i admire their buoyancy
things get violent

And then — yes, I know, there’s more — I mean, I like almonds. I do! But I also love walnuts and pecans and hazelnuts. Where’s the pecan milk? Where’s the hazelnut milk? Where’s the chocolate-hazelnut omgnutellamilk.
[Insert sound of a needle scratching off a record.]
pouring into a tight cheesecloth-lined strainer
squeezing liquids from solids

Suddenly, I was very very VERY interested in vegan dairy products — although, typically, for all the wrong reasons, but it’s too late to change my ways now. I toasted hazelnuts so they were quite dark. I soaked them for most of a day in water. I blended them until as pureed as possible. I strained. I squeezed. And then I melted chocolate and whisked the toasted hazelnut milk in a little at a time. I chilled it. I poured it into tiny glasses and propped in bendy straws. And then my darling little kindergartener arrived home from his first day at school and I said “Mama made you a chocolate snack!” and he was so excited and I poured him a glass and he said, “No. I do not like this.”
this is toasted hazelnut milk. but we're not stopping here.
chopping chocolate, but chips work too

I suppose it should be noted that nut milks are probably an acquired taste — if you’re not crazy about almond milk, this may not convert you. But my husband and I loved it. It’s barely sweet (though you can add a little sugar if desired) and tastes spectacularly of chocolate and hazelnuts, without the dairy products muddling the flavor — it will not survive the weekend. It may not even survive this paragraph.
chocolate toasted hazelnut milk

Chocolate and Toasted Hazelnut Milk
This is one of those recipes that I thought I came up with on my own (I mean, I did) but it turns out, I’m not the first one to have this inspiration because, obviously, chocolate hazelnut milk is a beautiful thing. You can see many other iterations here. Most I’ve seen either use raw hazelnuts, more water, sugar substitutes, cocoa or cocoa nibs. I opted instead for well-toasted hazelnuts for maximum flavor. I found that holding back the water slightly made it creamier, and with a good semi-sweet chocolate, it had a nice, mild sweetness (although children may not agree). You could add a teaspoon of sugar, simple syrup or your sweetener of choice to the mixture, or more to taste, if it’s not sweet enough for you.
I imagine this would be wonderful in an iced coffee drink or milkshake, but we just like it straight from the fridge in a glass.
Yield: About 3 3/4 cups chocolate hazelnut milk (or 3 2/3 cups toasted hazelnut milk, without the chocolate). We had 3/4 cup servings, so it serves 5.
2 cups (10 ounces or 285 grams) hazelnuts
3 1/2 cups (830 grams) water, plus more for soaking
1 1/4 cups (7 1/2 ounces 215 grams) semisweet chocolate chips or rough-chopped chocolate
Sugar or a sweetener to taste (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread hazelnuts on a tray and bake for 10 minutes, then toss them around and return them to the oven for another 2 to 5 minutes, until they’re fragrant and golden brown under their skins. Let cool to lukewarm. Place in a large bowl or jar and cover with an inch or so of water. Let soak overnight or up to two days at room temperature.
Drain hazelnuts and rinse, then place in a food processor or blender. (If you have both, I’d opt for the blender.) Add 3 1/2 cups water and blend for longer than seems necessary to puree them. Set a mesh strainer over a large bowl. Line it with a fine-mesh cheesecloth such as butter muslin or nut milk bag or a lint-free dish towel, leaving overhang so that you’ll have enough cloth to wring the mixture out in a few minutes.
Pour blended hazelnut mixture through cloth; you can use a spoon to stir it and help it along. When you’ve got mostly semi-solids left in the cloth, pull up the sides and use it to wring what you can from the hazelnuts.* What’s in your bowl is now the toasted hazelnut milk.
In a large saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, melt your chocolate halfway, then stir it off the heat until it it finishes melting. Whisk in 1 cup toasted hazelnut milk, at first one teaspoon at at time and then in a thin stream until you have a smooth chocolate-hazelnut sauce. Whisk this into the remaining toasted hazelnut milk. Chill until needed.
Do ahead: I’ve read that nut milks only keep for two days, but could this be true? I would have guessed a week. I will update this with a firmer estimate once I learn/experiment more.
* What to do with the leftover nut meal? I’ve seen suggestions to toast it in a pan to dry it out and then add the nut meal to baked goods and/or granola. Let me know if you have a creative use for it.


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