Easy Brandied Cocktail Cherries

Brandied Cocktail Cherries - Becky Stern

When cherries go on sale, I always whip up at least one batch of brandied cocktail cherries. Find the complete tutorial on Instructables. The recipe is super simple:

1 cup hot water
1/2 cup sugar
Pitted cherries
1 cup brandy
Whole spices like cinnamon, star anise (optional)

These cherries will keep in the fridge for several weeks, and only get better as they soak up the alcohol-sugar mixture, and besides cocktail garnishes, they make a great ice cream topping along with the liquid from the jar.
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Diffused LED Strip Sign With Arduino/Bluetooth

I created this sign for the DJ booth at the 8th annual Interactive Show at my local hackerspace, NYC Resistor. The theme this year was The Running Man, the chintzy 1987 sci-fi movie, which takes place in the year 2017. The sign is built from foamcore board and the pixel strip inside is diffused with plain printer paper. The sign’s colors and animations can be controlled with a phone/tablet app over bluetooth.

This Instructable  details the construction, programming, and use of this simple sign using Arduino and the Adafruit Feather Bluefruit 32u4 microcontroller and its companion Bluefruit LE Connect app for iOS/Android. You could easily scale back the wireless control aspect and use an Arduino Uno and a physical switch to change the animation, as in my free introductory Arduino Class, or control the sign from the internet by switching the microcontroller for a wifi board like the Feather Huzzah ESP8266, which you can learn to do in my free Internet of Things Class.