The Best Damn Lasagna on Earth! - Cooking and Recipes

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!

The Best Damn Lasagna on Earth!

The Best Damn Lasagna on Earth!
Oh lasagna, you ooey gooey saucy hot mess of flavor! I love you so! I often think of Garfield and try to achieve a lasagna that even he would go nuts over. It’s taken a long time but I feel as if I’m getting a little closer to my goal with each try.
Lasagna seems a simple enough idea until you try it. Honestly, it’s pretty involved. Expect to use practically every pan you own. Also plan on at least one hour of prep and one hour to cook. On the bright side, there is often leftovers, depending on how many you are feeding. Lasagna is kind of funny in that it’s one of those meals that actually tastes better reheated after a day in the fridge. The layers seem more defined and congealed, especially that pesky ricotta.
Which brings me to my first rant: ricotta. Ugh, I’ve had so many ricotta fails, it’s silly. And if the ricotta sucks, the dish sucks. I’ve poured over so many recipes and they all do it different. Some say include it in every layer, some say every other layer. Does it go before or after the sauce? What do you mix with it? How do you just make it work??? I’ve tried a bunch of different techniques and have found 3 critical pointers:
  1. Dry out your ricotta. If it’s too wet, it will make your lasagna sloshy. To accomplish this I spread the ricotta on a plate and put a couple of paper towels over it for an hour or two. It’s surprising how much water is in the cheese. I replaced the towels a couple of times each layer was well soaked after 15 minutes! When I started to work with the cheese, I noticed a significant difference in the texture.
  2. Only have 1 layer of ricotta. Many recipes say there should be a ricotta layer in between each set of noodles. This becomes ricotta overkill and typically results in a mushy lasagna.
  3. Rev up your ricotta! I like to add pesto and parmesan to brighten up an overall basic flavor. 
And that’s just the cheese!! 
Let’s move on to meat…. pork!! Every time, pork pork pork!! I was raised with an understanding that anything Italian and meaty should be made with ground beef. Wrong!! Ground pork is where it’s at. The flavors are richer. Now I still do like a little beef so I do a 50/50 mix. But seriously, if you’re not using pork, your selling yourself short. You don’t even need to get fancy Italian seasoned pork! I love using the plain breakfast style ground pork. 
And finally, the layers! The real key to making an epic lasagna, is figuring out your layer order. Each bite of lasagna should be that perfect blend of meat, sauce, noodles, and cheese. If the layers aren’t correct, the whole dish falls apart in my opinion. After extensive research and oh so much trial and error, I am happy to present my go to, fool proof, fail proof technique to layering lasagna:

The full recipe is also include below! 
How to Layer Lasagna: 
In a 9×13 pan, spread a thin layer of sauce.
Next lay out your first layer of noodles and cover with meat sauce. 
Add a generous layer of mozzarella.
Then another layer of noodles topped with all the ricotta blend.
Sprinkle with more mozzarella to help it bind. 
One more layer of noodles and add the rest of the sauce… and don’t put the last cheese layer on yet! You heard me! You are going to cook the lasagna without the epic top cheese layer first!! Cover it with foil, cut a few vents and bake for 30 minutes.
Take the pan out and remove the foil. Doesn’t that layered look just make you drool?
Now put on that epic last layer of mozzarella cheese! And don’t skimp! You shouldn’t see any sauce under that layer! I like to add a little garlic salt and parmesan to the top for extra flavor.
Bake for another 20-30 minutes until cheese is browned and bubbly.

Enjoy!!



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