Kitchen Wisdom

Recipes, says family matriarch Dorothy Zehnder, are the secret to her cooking and baking success.

When Dorothy Zehnder published her first cookbook, Come Cook with Me, in 2011, she thought she was finished with the book publishing world.

“For the first book, I picked out all the recipes that are personal to me,” says the Zehnder family matriarch. “I didn’t think I would do a second [cookbook] because I had used all my favorite [recipes].”

However, her son, Bill (William Zehnder, president of Frankenmuth’s Bavarian Inn), had other ideas.

Bill asked Zehnder to come up with a few more of her favorites, sending her back into her collection of well over 1,000 recipes that she has been collecting and creating for more than 80 years. All of the recipes have been taste-tested in Zehnder’s kitchen or at one of her Frankenmuth restaurants with her family.

Zehnder found 100 more recipes and combined them with 95 favorites from her first cookbook. From My Kitchen to Yours, her second cookbook, was released last September, featuring a smiling Zehnder holding a Bavarian Inn “Schwarzwalder” (Black Forest) Torte on the cover.

The new cookbook includes recipes of restaurant favorites such as butter horns, cranberry-orange relish, potato cheese puffs, and more.

While From My Kitchen to Yours is full of recipes, kitchen wisdom, and tips from the woman who has been managing the kitchen at Bavarian Inn since 1950, it also includes something more.

“It’s not just a cookbook, but a history book,” Zehnder says.

Those who don’t know the history of the Zehnder family, or those who just want to hear it again, will find the book to be a good read. It’s filled with history and memories of the years gone by.

This time around, Zehnder got her family involved. Her children and grandchildren shared their favorite recipes, as well as memories they associate with times when their favorite dish was served.

zehnder2

When things happen in the Zehnder family, Zehnder says, they happen in the kitchen, around the grill, or at a picnic table.

There is one recipe you won’t find in the book: Bavarian Inn’s Chicken Pasta Salad, one of Zehnder’s original recipes. Zehnder writes in her book that she created the recipe to feed hundreds of people, and she didn’t think she could match the flavor by cutting it down to just four servings. And, of course, Zehnder is mum on the recipe for her famous chicken.

Recipes, says Zehnder, are the secret to the success of the Bavarian Inn, a restaurant that is known nationwide. Everything that is served at Bavarian Inn is made using a recipe, and 93-year-old Zehnder is in the kitchen from Tuesday through Saturday, making sure things are done the same way they have been done since the beginning.

“It’s a blessing,” Zehnder says of her life. “I get up in the morning and know what I’m going to do during the day. I love to cook and I love to bake. It has kept me young.”

Copies of the cookbook are available at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant and the Bavarian Inn Lodge. Patrons who stop by on Saturdays between 2 and 4 p.m. can get a copy signed by the author herself. The cookbook is also available online at www.bavarianinn.com.


Recipes, says family matriarch Dorothy Zehnder, are the secret to her cooking and baking success.

When Dorothy Zehnder published her first cookbook, Come Cook with Me, in 2011, she thought she was finished with the book publishing world.

“For the first book, I picked out all the recipes that are personal to me,” says the Zehnder family matriarch. “I didn’t think I would do a second [cookbook] because I had used all my favorite [recipes].”

However, her son, Bill (William Zehnder, president of Frankenmuth’s Bavarian Inn), had other ideas.

Bill asked Zehnder to come up with a few more of her favorites, sending her back into her collection of well over 1,000 recipes that she has been collecting and creating for more than 80 years. All of the recipes have been taste-tested in Zehnder’s kitchen or at one of her Frankenmuth restaurants with her family.

Zehnder found 100 more recipes and combined them with 95 favorites from her first cookbook. From My Kitchen to Yours, her second cookbook, was released last September, featuring a smiling Zehnder holding a Bavarian Inn “Schwarzwalder” (Black Forest) Torte on the cover.

The new cookbook includes recipes of restaurant favorites such as butter horns, cranberry-orange relish, potato cheese puffs, and more.

While From My Kitchen to Yours is full of recipes, kitchen wisdom, and tips from the woman who has been managing the kitchen at Bavarian Inn since 1950, it also includes something more.

“It’s not just a cookbook, but a history book,” Zehnder says.

Those who don’t know the history of the Zehnder family, or those who just want to hear it again, will find the book to be a good read. It’s filled with history and memories of the years gone by.

This time around, Zehnder got her family involved. Her children and grandchildren shared their favorite recipes, as well as memories they associate with times when their favorite dish was served.

zehnder2

When things happen in the Zehnder family, Zehnder says, they happen in the kitchen, around the grill, or at a picnic table.

There is one recipe you won’t find in the book: Bavarian Inn’s Chicken Pasta Salad, one of Zehnder’s original recipes. Zehnder writes in her book that she created the recipe to feed hundreds of people, and she didn’t think she could match the flavor by cutting it down to just four servings. And, of course, Zehnder is mum on the recipe for her famous chicken.

Recipes, says Zehnder, are the secret to the success of the Bavarian Inn, a restaurant that is known nationwide. Everything that is served at Bavarian Inn is made using a recipe, and 93-year-old Zehnder is in the kitchen from Tuesday through Saturday, making sure things are done the same way they have been done since the beginning.

“It’s a blessing,” Zehnder says of her life. “I get up in the morning and know what I’m going to do during the day. I love to cook and I love to bake. It has kept me young.”

Copies of the cookbook are available at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant and the Bavarian Inn Lodge. Patrons who stop by on Saturdays between 2 and 4 p.m. can get a copy signed by the author herself. The cookbook is also available online at www.bavarianinn.com.

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