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.

Arancini with Sweet Potato Jam

Featured Fall Recipe

Arancini with Sweet Tomato Jam

Arancini means “little orange” in Italian, referring to the shape and size of this enticing appetizer, which is a popular street food in Sicily. Heidi learned the recipe on a cooking trip abroad and adapted it to Chowgirls’ style by filling it with fresh mozzarella and pairing it with our Sweet Tomato Jam.


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cups (500 mL) uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1 cup (250 mL) white wine
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups (1 L) vegetable broth
  • ½ cup (125 mL) grated Paremsan cheese
  • 8 pieces ciliegine (cherry-sized balls) fresh mozzarella, cut into quarters
  • 2 cups (500 mL) breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups (500 mL) olive oil

In a large frying pan on medium heat, melt butter and olive oil. Sauté onions until soft, about 3 minutes. Add rice and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring until rice is evenly coated in oil. As rice begins to toast, add white wine, stirring while it dramatically sizzles and steams. Stir in saffron, garlic, salt, and pepper and sauté 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet, spreading risotto out evenly to cool.

Once cooled, in the palm of your hand, stack 1 tbsp risotto, 1 piece of mozzarella, and another 1 tbsp risotto. Roll in your hands to form a 2-inch (5cm) ball, then roll each ball in breadcrumbs and place on a baking sheet.

In a heavy frying pan on medium-high, heat olive oil. When oil is hot, pan fry arancini, 4 or 6 at a time, for about 5 minutes, turning to brown and crisp evenly.

Serve warm with a helping of Sweet Tomato Jam.

Makes 32 pieces.

Sweet Tomato Jam

  • 1 pint (500 mL) cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup (125 mL) red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp peeled, minced fresh ginger

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)

In a medium bowl, toss cherry tomatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil to evenly coat. Add salt and pepper and toss again. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread tomatoes in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, until skins burst.

Transfer roasted tomatoes to a small saucepan. Add vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat, add remainder of ingredients, and simmer on low for 15 minutes, until shiny and glazed.

Makes 2 cups (500 mL)

Cookbook on the Road

Come join us as we tour the states to showcase our killer cookbook! See our list of tour dates below:

  • Magers & Quinn

    October 24, 2016
    Minneapolis, MN
  • Mystery to Me

    November 4, 2016
    Madison, WI
  • Arcadia Books

    November 5, 2016
    Spring Green, WI
  • Tattered Cover

    November 12, 2016
    Denver, CO
  • Bookworm

    November 13, 2016
    Omaha, NE
  • Patina

    November 26, 2016
    NE Minneapolis, MN
  • Shop Small Holiday Market

    November 26, 2016
    St. Anthony Village, MN
  • Read It and Eat

    December 2, 2016
    Chicago, IL
  • Volumes Bookcafe

    December 3, 2016
    Chicago, IL
  • Nordic Ware

    December 13, 2016
    St. Louis Park, MN
  • Morris Book Shop

    December 29, 2016
    Lexington, KY
  • Nicola’s Books

    January 29, 2017
    Ann Arbor, MI
  • Pages

    February 1, 2017
    Detroit, MI
  • Barnes & Noble

    February 2, 2017
    Rochester Hills, MI

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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