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Chowgirls Killer Party Food: Righteous Bites & Cocktails For Every Season

Killer Party Food

After a dozen years in business together and having grown a company from just each other to a family of over 100, Chowgirls owners Heidi Andermack and Amy Brown finally had the opportunity to fulfill their lifelong dreams of writing a cookbook. As English majors, they had a nice head start; along with all those years of recipe writing for the business, they had a lot to say and the ability to say it well. Chowgirls Killer Party Food is the culmination of their past and future careers - Heidi’s as a writer and Amy’s as a bookseller and publishing professional. Arranged seasonally, the appetizer and cocktail recipes within represent both perennial Chowgirls favorites and a bounty of on-trend new ideas.

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About This Book

With an eye for style and appreciation for seasonal ingredients, the proprietors of Chowgirls Killer Catering, one of the Midwest’s leading catering companies, share their inspired ideas for delicious appetizers, small plates, and cocktails that are perfect for home entertaining. Amy Lynn Brown and Heidi Andermack were early adopters of the local, organic, sustainable, and seasonal approach to cooking; their ethos is clearly reflected in this cookbook, which offers fun, elegant, and yet easy-to-prepare recipes arranged by season that will be the hit of your next social gathering.

For your party to welcome spring, impress your guests with Spring Pea Toasts with Gouda, Mint-Crusted Lamb Chops, and Wasabi Crab Cakes. For that backyard summer fest, try Flank Steak Skewers with Chimichurri, Sweet Corn Risotto with Grilled Shrimp, and Gazpacho Jars. On that chilly fall gathering, offer the Grilled Sirloin with Farro Tomato Salad, Bacon-Pecan Tartlets, and Roasted Fall Vegetables with Saffron Aioli. And for that festive winter blow-out, make the Italian Beef Sliders, Crab & Green Chile Gratin, and Artichoke Tapenade. Then to wash it all down, make sure there’s plenty of Mint Julep Sweet Tea, White Sangria, and Strawberry Basil Daiquiris

Andermack and Brown’s shared passion for cooking and entertaining shines throughout this beautiful and inspiring cookbook. Their "righteous bites" will impress your guests with dazzling, organic, locally sourced recipes that show you care. Party on!

Heidi & Amy Lynn

Heidi and Amy founded Chowgirls Killer Catering in 2004 with a shared passion for cooking and entertaining. Publishing a cookbook has been an aspiration since they started the company. Twelve years later this dream has realized with the release of their first cookbook through Arsenal Pulp Press.

Heidi Andermack

Driven by a spirit of collaboration, Heidi Andermack is a passionate member of her community in Minneapolis, helping establish the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District and serving on the board of the Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market. When she’s not in the kitchen or participating in very important meetings, she can be found throwing punches at Uppercut, her neighborhood boxing gym, or stretching her body and mind with yin yoga. Heidi is mama to Maximillian Gold, wife to world-renowned font designer Chank Diesel, and personal chef to Katy Bug and London Dog.

Amy Lynn Brown

Born and raised in Kentucky, Amy started a Northward journey in the mid-'90s and settled in Minneapolis, where she married an old college friend. After a 15-year career in bookselling and publishing, she co-created the iconic Chowgirls Killer Catering in 2004. Besides the obvious reading and cooking, she stays busy distance running, gardening, raising her three daughters, Frances, Louise, and Julip, and throwing Frisbees with her Blue Heeler, Miss Honey Sue.

Zucchini Fritters with Succotash Salad & Crme Frache

Featured Fall Recipe

Grilled Sirloin with Farro Tomato Salad

Farro is one of our favorite on trend ancient grains. Packed with protein, its hearty texture makes it ideal to pair with steak. Roasting the tomatoes for the salad adds a really great tang. We prefer the sirloin cooked medium-rare, but you can add or subtract time on the grill if you and your guests have other ideas.


  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried tarragon
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb (500 g) sirloin, about 1 ½-in (4 cm) thick

Farro Salad

  • 2 cups (500 mL) pearled farro
  • 4 cups (1 L) chicken stock
  • 1 lb (500 g) cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (for sautéing spinach)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups (1 L) firmly pack baby spinach
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup (125 mL) chopped or crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh mint leaves for garnish


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, tarragon, and cayenne to create a dry rub for the steak. Pat steak dry with a paper towel, then coat with herb and spice mixture. Set aside, allowing it to come to room temperature.

Rinse farro in a fine-mesh sieve. In a medium pot on high heat, combine farro with stock and bring to a boil. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until tender.

While farro cooks, halve cherry tomatoes and place them, seed side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a basting brush, brush liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast for 30 minutes, until slightly browned and softened.

In a large frying pan over high heat, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add garlic and spinach and sauté, stirring continuously, for 1-2 minutes or until about half the spinach is soft and wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine cooked farro, roasted tomatoes, and spinach-garlic mixture, tossing until well combined. Stir in feta and mint and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat a gas or charcoal grill to 350°F (180°C). If using a broiler, preheat to 525°F (275°C) and preheat a cast-iron frying pan. Grill steak, covered, for 6-7 minutes, then turn and cook for another 6-7 minutes for medium-rare. If broiling, place steak in preheated frying pan and place 2-3 in (5-8 cm) from flame. Broil for about 4 minutes per side. Set aside and allow to rest at least 15 minutes before slicing. Slice thinly on the diagonal and set aside.

To serve: Spoon about ¼ cup (60 mL) salad onto each appetizer plate and place 1-2 strips steak alongside. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Makes 16 impressive small plates.

Chowgirls Killer Party Food: Righteous Bites & Cocktails For Every Season

The Buzz

In the fall of 2016 we published a bestselling cookbook, Chowgirls Killer Party Food. We’re thrilled to have our cherished recipes accessible to home cooks and sold in bookstores around the country. In addition to a national cookbook tour, co-owners Amy and Heidi have been featured in O Magazine and on Oprah’s website. They’ve cooked on TV in Minneapolis, at WGN Chicago, CBS Los Angeles, and Fox New York. In January, the Detroit Free Press featured Chowgirls Killer Party Food – and some of the recipes within it – tagged with the headline “Take Your Super Bowl Food to the Next Level.”

“A lighthearted guide to serious fun by the renowned Minneapolis caterers. These are surefire recipes and tips from two chefs who spend a lot of time working in challenging environments, such as warehouses, where the access to running water is a janitor‘s sink, or the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, where food and equipment are transported to the site by canoes. They share their strategies for sourcing and preparing local seasonal ingredients and preparing the components of a dish ahead, so last-minute preparation is a snap. Their recipes are innovative twists on familiar favorites — pretty mini Iron Range pasties filled with roasted root vegetables, old-fashioned crab gratin sparked with chiles, scaled-down Swedish meatballs, plus Mad Men-worth cocktails to cheer you on.”

- Beth Dooley, Star Tribune

“More than just a recipe collection, the book also allows readers insight into the work of a caterer with extra tips and tricks on entertaining and preparing most of the dishes. It‘s also divided into seasons, which readers can use to pair dishes together for a complete party, the two added, though some dishes — deviled eggs, for example — can be made year round.”

- The Journal Minneapolis

“Each recipe is helpfully marked as gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, et cetera, so there will be no fumbling when your party guests inevitably ask. And each section is presented seasonally (we‘re now in winter in case the temps have you confused), with several accompanying cocktail recipes.”

- Minneapolis City Pages

“Recipes offer a contemporary spin on appetizers and small bites and are great for cooking for a crowd. The Chowgirls cookbook has many more recipes worth trying, such as their Swedish meatballs, which come with a delicious, flavorful gravy recipe. We‘re already searching for a large-crowd occasion to make them again.”

- Twin Cities Pioneer Press

“While planning a party, many hosts wish they had the resources to hire cooks or caterers to take over the kitchen, especially if the hosts aren‘t too savvy in the kitchen. Minneapolis-based Chowgirls Killer Catering has the answer: its cookbook, Chowgirls Killer Party Food: Righteous Bites and Cocktails for Every Season.”

- Minnesota Business Magazine

@chowgirlscatering - 12/8/17

Today we’re treating our tummies to Roasted Cauliflower basted with house-made Bearnaise and garnished with fresh tarragon. #killerpartyfood #fridayfood

Where To Buy Local

Here’s a list of local vendors around the Twin Cities where you can pick up a copy!

  • Barnes & Noble
  • Common Good Books
  • East Side Food Coop
  • Kitchen Window
  • Moon Palace Books
  • Patina
  • University of MN Bookstore
  • Bibelot
  • Content Bookstore
  • Excelsior Bay
  • Magers & Quinn
  • Mother Earth Gardens
  • Subtext
  • Valley Bookseller

About Chowgirls

Chowgirls Killer Catering is a women-owned, award-winning Minneapolis catering company using seasonal ingredients to create savory, sociable fare with a commitment to sustainability and thoughtful hospitality. Email us at to discuss your next event!

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