Host a 'True Blood' Bash in Honor of Halloween Slideshow

Beautifully Broken Bisque

"I may be the oldest vampire walking the earth, but when my one love, Talbot, was alive, he was the master of our house. What care he poured into our collection of Celtic, Norse, and German antiques. He even found those stunning silver doors from the estate of Countess Elizabeth Báthory, Hungary’s most famous serial killer. He loved telling guests the story of how she bathed in the blood of virgins. In addition to keeping such a beautiful home, he created the most legendary dinner parties. I ache for Talbot whenever I think of his warm bisque garnished with a flourish of English rose petals." — Russell Edgington

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onion
3 or 4 medium beets peeled, trimmed, diced (about 4 cups)
½ cup chopped carrots
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
sour cream for serving (optional)

Serve warm, garnishing each bowl with a spoonful of sour cream, if you wish.

Chicken-Fried Love with Gravy

"The first time I met Hoyt, he went on and on about crispy chicken-'n'-steak babies. It was real cute, how nervous he got. So when me and him moved in together, I snagged Lafayette's recipe from Merlotte's" — Jessica Hamby

Chicken-Fried Steak

Four 6-ounce pieces cubed steak 

Salt, Freshly ground cayenne pepper

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

2 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

2 cups vegetable oil

Cream Gravy

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2½ whole milk

salt, coarsley ground black pepper, cayenne pepper

Serve the chicken-fried steaks smothered with the gravy.

Crawfish Dip

"I drive all the way to Shreveport to see Alcide, and there’s Debbie, with a tray full of hostess snacks? As if craw fish dip is gonna make up for trying to kill me—twice! It would have been nice if Alcide had told me on the phone that she was gonna be there. I’d thought he was just about the only man who was still honest with me. But I suppose he was just tryin’ to help his girl. And Debbie did look good, healthy even. I hope she can keep with it. Stranger things have happened." — Sookie Stackhouse

½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onion
½ cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsely 
1 pound peeled crawfish tails
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
Cayenne pepper
Tabasco sauce
Party crackers or toast points for serving 

Serve hot with crackers or toast points.

Ruby Mixer

"When Louis Pasteur (yes, he’s a vampire) and the Japanese got together in the 1980s, there was no stopping them. They created Tru Blood, a synthetic blood substitute, allowing vampires to come out of the coffin. But fangbangers and friends have long wanted to taste what their vampire pals drink at bars like Fangtasia, so some enterprising mortals created a version for humans that goes by the same name. You can order Tru Blood or use this recipe to concoct a similar drink. Keep in mind, there’s only one original. But sometimes you just need a quick fix. The synthetic blood substitute’s substitute." — Nan Flanagan

4 ounces carbonated orange soda such as Orangina or San Pellegrino Aranciata
1½ ounces Grenadine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine the orange soda, grenadine, and lemon juice in a pitcher. Stir to blend before using.