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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 & Crème Fraîche

Featured Winter Recipe

Crab & Green Chile Gratin

Our hot seafood dip has gotten rave reviews through the years. Worth the indulgence to warm up a winter party, it’s a unique addition to any Mexican menu and goes great with margaritas! Serve hot with crostini or tortilla chips.


  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 8 oz (230 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
  • 1 cup (250 mL) half and half
  • 1 ½ cups (375 mL) shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb (500 g) lump crabmeat, picked over for shells, rinsed, and drained
  • 8 oz (230 g) canned mild green chiles, drained
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter (for breadcrumbs)
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a medium frying pan on medium-high heat, melt butter. Add shallots and sauté until soft and transparent, about 3 minutes. Set pan aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sour cream, half and half, cheese, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce and continue to mix until all ingredients are blended. Season with cayenne, Old Bay, dry mustard, salt, and pepper and stir to combine well.

Stir in sautéed shallots, crab, and green chiles and transfer to a lightly buttered baking dish. Reheat frying pan and melt 2 tbsp butter. Toss together breadcrumbs and paprika and mix in melted butter until evenly distributed. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over crab mixture.

Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes, until browned at edges and bubbling. Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley.

Makes about 25-30 servings.

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 - 2/19/18

Boss ladies Amy and Heidi will be speaking at the @potluckhospitality Conference in LA on March 5th - 6th. Potluck is a two-day conference exploring what's next in the social and corporate events industry. It is a new conference for a new generation of event companies and brings together people from catering and planning to venues and design. Join us there and spend a couple of days sharing new ideas and best practices with industry peers doing work we respect. Enjoy 30% off your ticket with our friends and family code: IMWITHTHEBAND. Join us! Head to to buy tickets!

@chowgirlscatering - 2/16/18

We’re hankering for these handmade Polish dumplings made of farmer's cheese and potato, topped with fried onions and sour cream. #pierogi #boldnorth #recipes @chowgirlscatering 📷:@sipsavorsocial

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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