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!

Making Cypriot Pastitsio

Making Cypriot Pastitsio
Pastitsio is a classic Greek comfort food. It is like a lasagna, where it involves layering up some pasta, meat ragu, bechamel sauce, and baked till golden. Nevertheless, Pastitsio is distinctly different from lasagna – especially on the type of pasta used. In Pastitsio, you use this specific type of pasta called Greek Macaroni Pastitsio Noodles. It is long like spaghetti but shaped like a tube. I’m not sure where exactly you can find it in London but a friend of mine found it at a local Greek supermarket in far North London.
It’s more of a typical home dish rather than restaurant dish. A very close relative of this dish is Moussaka, which is very popular in restaurants.
Pastitsio Pasta
  • 225 g Halloumi Cheese (1 pack) grated
  • 1 Egg White
  • 15 g Parsley chopped
for the Bolognaise
  • 650 g Mince (I used a mix of Beef & Lamb)
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 can Chopped Tomato
  • 1-2 Bay Leaves
  • 500 mL Beef Stock
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes (optional)
for the Bechamel Sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 2-3 cups Milk
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • pinch of grounded Nutmeg
  • pinch of grounded Cinnamon
  • 5 g Vegetable Stock cube / powder

Making the Bolognaise
  1. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan. Sweat Onions until softened and turn golden in colour. Add in Garlic and a pinch of Chilli Flakes (if using) and cook for another two minutes or so until fragrant.
  2. Briefly season with salt and pepper, and stir in the mince. Brown the mince and add in oregano, bay leaf.
  3. Stir in tomato paste and add a pinch of cinnamon. Briefly stir until evenly coated. Then add in the chopped tomatoes and beef stock. Simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until reduced.
  4. Stir in the parsley. Discard bay leaves and set aside. 
  5. Making the Bechamel Sauce
  6. In a saucepan, melt the butter and add in the flour to make a roux.
  7. Pour in a cup of milk and stir until smooth. Repeat with second cup of milk. 
  8. Season with pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon. 
  9. Add in the remaining milk and whisk until it starts to thicken up. 
  10. Whisk in half of the grated halloumi cheese. Blend until it attains a thick consistency. 
  11. Remove from heat and stir in egg yolk. Set aside.
Making the Pastitsio and assembling it all together
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Boil a pot of salted water and cook the Pastitsio pasta according to package instructions. Strain.
  3. Layer Pastitsio pasta at the bottom of the baking tray. Brush with egg whites.
  4. Sprinkle a third of grated halloumi cheese. Pour in the meat mixture on top. 
  5. Add another layer of pasta and top with grated halloumi cheese. 
  6. Pour in the Bechamel sauce and top with more grated halloumi cheese. 
  7. Bake for 45 minutes until bubbling and golden in colour. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.


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