Thyme Capsules Continued: More Recipes from Pittsburgh Mayors, Past and Present

By Andrea Bosco Stehle / Photography By Michael Fornataro | February 24, 2016
Share to printerest Share to fb Share to twitter Share to mail Share to print

MAYOR JOSEPH BARR (The 53rd Mayor of Pittsburgh)


From the mayor’s daughter, Candy Barr Loughney, with special thanks to her husband, Patrick Loughney, for his help.

1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Butter for muffin tin


  1. 1. Put the muffin pan (Note: use a rod iron muffin tin if possible) in 450ºF oven.
  2. 2. Beat flour, eggs, salt, and milk well. 
  3. 3. Put 1 teaspoon of butter in each iron.
  4. 4. Put pan back in oven until hot.
  5. 5. Pour mixture into irons.
  6. 6. Bake for 30 minutes until brown.

MAYOR THOMAS GALLAGHER (The 52nd Mayor of Pittsburgh)


Excerpted from a story by Mayor Gallagher’s grandchild, Kathleen Dixon Donnelly.

When I first lived on my own, I had called [my mother] for the recipe, written it down somewhere, lost the sheet of paper, but never forgot how to make it. 

So Friday night I took two loaves of white bread and, as Mom had taught me, spread the slices out on the table so that by morning they would be partially stale with just the right crunch for stuffing.  When we got up Saturday it was apparent I hadn’t allowed for one thing:  Irish weather.  Bread sitting out in that humidity doesn’t crunch — it becomes a sponge.  You could wring the moisture out of each slice.  Tony and I blotted them with paper towels to get them dry, then ripped them into bite size pieces.  Fourth disaster remedied.

Tony had to go into work that day, so I had the whole house to myself to get ready.

I set to work chopping up lots of celery and onion for the stuffing, and I sautéed it in a pound of butter.  Real butter.  Mom used only Land o’ Lakes, but I had to substitute Kerrygold.  No problem; the Irish have the best dairy products in the world.

After pouring the butter-celery-onion over the bread pieces in a couple of big bowls, I mixed it with my bare hands.  I beat two eggs with a little water and divided that over the stuffing in the bowls.  Next:  Poultry seasoning.  My mother would have my brother and I taste the stuffing as she was working on it, and we would always say, “More poultry seasoning.”  Guess what.  The Irish have never heard of “poultry seasoning.”  And, when you think about it, what is it?

I called my sister-in-law in Pittsburgh and had her read me the ingredients from her poultry seasoning jar.  I mixed thyme and sage and created a close approximation, but decided not to use as much of it as usual.  Fifth disaster remedied.

MAYOR WILLIAM HOWARD (The 13th Mayor of Pittsburgh)


From Mayor Howard’s great-great-great-granddaughter, Katharine Boggess. “While we don't have any recipes specific to William Jordan Howard, we do have a few recipes we can share that we like to use.”:

3- to 5- pound eye of round roast
Whole garlic cloves
Yellow mustard
Kosher salt
Fresh-cracked black pepper
Additional seasonings, to taste


  1. 1. Weigh your meat and calculate cook time: 7 minutes per pound.
  2. 2. Place the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 500ºF.
  3. 3. With a sharp knife, make a few holes in the roast beef and insert whole cloves of garlic into each one.
  4. 4. Coat outside of roast with mustard and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt. Use fresh-cracked black pepper and any other spices here.
  5. 5. Place roast on a roasting pan with no water or oil.
  6. 6. When oven reaches 500ºF, quickly insert roast into oven.
  7. 7. Reduce heat to 475ºF and roast for calculated cook time.
  8. 8. Turn off the oven when the timer sounds, but do not open the oven for at least two hours, or let roast come to room temperature if possible.
  9. 9. Slice very thinly.


1 package bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 bell peppers, chopped into 1-inch pieces
6 large stalks of celery, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
3 Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped into 1-inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 datil peppers (specific to North Florida; may substitute 1 serrano or omit to make less hot)
1 can tomato paste
4 tablespoons flour
4 cups water, divided 
2 large cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Black pepper, to taste
Additional seasonings, to taste
1/3 cup Tabasco Sauce
1/2 cup white wine
48 oz of shrimp, peeled (about 30 pieces)
Long grain white rice
French bread


  1. 1. In a large stock pot, cook the bacon until well wilted but not crispy.
  2. 2. Remove 1/3 bacon grease.
  3. 3. Sauté green pepper and celery; about 10 minutes.
  4. 4. Add onion, garlic, and 1 datil pepper. Sauté until wilted.
  5. 5. Remove vegetables from pot. Set aside.
  6. 6. In the same pot, without rinsing, add tomato paste, flour, and 1 cup water.
  7. 7. On low heat, simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  8. 8. Add canned tomatoes with the liquid. Stir.
  9. 9 Increase heat to medium-high. Add cajun seasoning, kosher salt, black pepper, 1 date pepper, additional seasonings, and Tabasco. Stir.
  10.  10. Add the vegetables back in, along with white wine and 3 cups of water.
  11.  11. Simmer until reduced 25%.
  12.  12. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp is done (when it turns color, it's done).
  13.  13. Serve over white rice with French bread.

***Note: to save time, steps 1-11 can be done in advance and refrigerated overnight with the shrimp added after the sauce is reheated to medium/high.


From Mayor Howard’s great-great-granddaughter, Barbara Hookings:

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small container sour cream
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions
2 17-oz packages of frozen hash browns


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  2. 2. Mix cream of chicken soup, sour cream, butter, grated cheddar cheese, and green onions in  a saucepan over medium heat until warm.
  3. 3. Put hash browns in a casserole dish.
  4. 4. Pour the hot mixture over the hash browns.
  5. 5. Bake for 45 minutes.


1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter or oleo, melted
3 eggs, separated into 2 and 1, beaten
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1 box or 1 pound confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 250ºF.
  2. 2. Combine cake mix, butter, and 1 egg.
  3. 3. Pour into a 13x9-inch pan.
  4. 4. In a separate bowl, beat together cream cheese, remaining eggs, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla.
  5. 5. Pour over cake mixture.
  6. 6. Bake for 45 minutes.
  7. 7. Let cool and cut into squares.

MAYOR SOPHIE MASLOFF (The 56th Mayor of Pittsburgh)


From Jennifer Busia, the mayor’s granddaughter:

4 cups flour
6 egg yolks
4 tablespoons vinegar
1 pound margarine
1/2 cup water
1 box angel food cake mix
1 cup sugar
1 pound chopped walnuts
1 jar maraschino cherries, chopped and well-drained


  1. 1. Mix flour, egg yolks, vinegar, margarine, and water well. Form into 6 balls.
  2. 2. Refrigerate overnight. 
  3. 3. The next day, preheat oven to 375ºF.
  4. 4. Mix angel food cake according to box. Set aside. 
  5. 5. Mix sugar and walnuts. Set aside.
  6. 6. Roll out the dough from the night before.
  7. 7. Spread nut mixture then angel food mix over top.
  8. 8. Scatter cherries evenly over top.
  9. 9. Place dough onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.


1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 block cream cheese
5 eggs, beaten
1 stick butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus extra to sprinkle on top
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound wide noodles, cooked and drained
2 cups tart apples, chopped
Golden raisins, to taste
Sugar to sprinkle on top


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. 2. Mix cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, eggs, butter, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until well-blended.
  3. 3. Add noodles, apples, and raisins. Mix well.
  4. 4. Pour into a 13x9-inch pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  5. 5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until set and slightly browned.

MAYOR JONAS McCLINTOCK (The eighth Mayor of Pittsburgh)


From Rachel Haines, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Mayor McClintock. “In the best tradition of my family, I maintain the best dining experience can be accomplished through the selection of dining reservations at any one of Pittsburgh's great eateries — hence, I have only submitted a few recipes from my family's collection.”:

1 1/2 cups dates, chopped
1 cup nuts, chopped
1 cup water
1 box white cake mix
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. 2. In small saucepan, combine dates, nuts, and water. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Set aside.
  3. 3. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and butter. Reserve 1/2 cup of mixture for crumb topping.
  4. 4. Add egg to the remaining mixture and beat until well mixed.
  5. 5. Press into a greased pan.
  6. 6. Pour date mixture over the base and spread to cover.
  7. 7. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over dates.
  8. 8. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool before cutting into 36 bars.


3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 stick of butter, melted, cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 9-inch pie shell, unbaked


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. 2. Beat together eggs, sugar, butter, and vanilla.
  3. 3. Add flour, chocolate chips, and walnuts. Mix well.
  4. 4. Pour mixture into the pie shell.
  5. 5. Bake for 65 minutes.
  6. 6. Serve with vanilla ice cream or drizzle with creme de cacao.


1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons flour
20 oz beef stock
1 1/2 pounds sirloin, sliced thinly
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/4 onion, chopped
Pinch of garlic
1/4 cup sherry wine
1/4 cup tomato puree
1 cup sour cream
1 pound egg noodles, cooked and drained


  1. 1. Brown half of the butter. Add flour and stock, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. 2. Heat the remaining butter in a large skillet and quickly brown the sirloin.
  3. 3. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, and parsley. Cook for 15 minutes
  4. 4. Add sherry wine and tomato puree.
  5. 5. Add sour cream.
  6. 6. Serve over noodles.

MAYOR THOMAS J. “TOM” MURPHY, JR. (The 57th Mayor of Pittsburgh)


From his son, Thomas, and daughter, Shannon. “My father really loves peanut butter, and one of his favorite recipes is actually the Log Cabin Inn’s Peanut Butter Pie. It’s a nice little restaurant in Harmony, Pa., and we have been going there for many years.”:


For crust:
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup butter, melted

For chocolate filling:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg (“we substitute pasteurized liquid egg”)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped

For peanut butter filling:
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. 2. Combine oatmeal, brown sugar, and flour. 
  3. 3. Mix in melted butter.
  4. 4. Generously spray a deep 9-inch pan with nonstick spray then press the crust into the pan.
  5. 5. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool.
  6. 6. While the crust bakes, beat together butter and sugar for chocolate filling.
  7. 7. Add egg and beat at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. 8. Blend in melted chocolate chips and vanilla.
  9. 9. In a separate bowl, beat together cream cheese and peanut butter.
  10. 10. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
  11. 11. Add egg and blend thoroughly.
  12. 12. Fold in whipped topping.
  13. 13. To assemble, spread 1 cup of chocolate filling on cooled crust. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup chopped peanuts. Spoon peanut butter filling on top of that layer. Top with remaining chocolate filling. Sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped peanuts around the outer edge of pie.
  14. 14. Refrigerate at last 3 hours. Store in the refrigerator.


MAYOR MAGNUS MURRAY (The fourth and sixth Mayor of Pittsburgh)


From the mayor’s relative who stayed in Ireland: Clodagh Murray and her aunt, Valerie Murray Smullen:

"Put 2 to 3 sausages and rashers (strips of bacon/ham) per person in a pot boil. Add two onions, five carrots per person. Sprinkle in herbs [exact types not specified], cover with water and add one veg and one chicken stock cube. Bring to a boil, and add three or four small potatoes per person. Cook until potatoes are soft.”

MAYOR RICHARD CALIGUIRI (The 55th Mayor of Pittsburgh)


From Mayor Caliguiri’s widow, Jeanne:

1 medium head cauliflower
5 large eggs
5 eggshell halves of water
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
Canola oil


  1. 1. Par boil or microwave cauliflower for 5 minutes. Let cool.
  2. 2. Chop cauliflower into small pieces.
  3. 3. Beat eggs, adding water, flour, baking powder, cheese, and parsley.
  4. 4. Drop teaspoon-sized balls of mixture into hot cooking oil.  
  5. 5. Place on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.


1 1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs
3/4 cup water
2 eggs
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped 
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
1 pound ground beef (Note: Caliguiri recommends 85% lean beef)
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground pork
5 teaspoons cooking oil


  1. 1. Combine bread crumbs with water. Stir in eggs, parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  2. 2. Add meat. Mix well.
  3. 3. Wet your hands and form the mixture into 24-30 small balls. (You can also use an ice cream scoop to do so.)
  4. 4. Heat oil and cook meatballs until brown, turning regularly over low heat.
  5. 5. Place on paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
  6. 6. Add to your favorite sauce and serve with pasta.

MAYOR CHARLES KLINE (The 47th Mayor of Pittsburgh)


From Kyle Kline, the mayor’s great-grand-nephew, who received it from his aunt, L. Maude Balentine Kline, who received it from Mayor Kline’s cousin’s wife, Letitia Maude Balentine Kline:

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup white syrup
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites
1 cup nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. 1. Boil sugar, syrup, and water until it spins a thread 4 inches long.
  2. 2. Add approximately half of this syrup mixture to 2 beaten egg whites.
  3. 3. Place remaining syrup mixture back on burner. Simmer, allowing to bubble up again.
  4. 4. Meanwhile, continue to beat egg mixture. Add another one-third of syrup mixture, placing balance on burner while the last one-third is bubbling up.
  5. 5. Continue beating, then add remaining one-third of syrup mixture. Beat everything together until it loses its luster.
  6. 6. Add nuts and vanilla.
  7. 7. The divinity is ready to be placed in a pan or platter when a spoonful will hold its shape.
  8. 8. Allow to cool then cut into squares. 


3 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup mix nuts or pistachios, chopped


  1. 1. Combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a saucepan.
  2. 2. Bring to a boil and continue cooking without stirring. The mixture is ready when a hard ball forms when dropped in cold water (at about 265ºF).
  3. 3. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff and gradually beat in the hot syrup.
  4. 4. Continue beating until it stiffens.
  5. 5. Add vanilla and nuts, and turn mixture into a greased 8x10-inch pan.
  6. 6. When cold, cut into 40-50 squares.
Article from Edible Allegheny at
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60