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The Amazement Begins

May 22, 2011 · 55 comments

15 friends

12 m2

Dozens of tiny hard-to-vacuum paper streamers

1 projector we couldn’t get working

1 TV that worked quite nicely, especially when raised up on multiple cardboard boxes

7 tasty dishes

2 sweepstakes prizes

1 Bintang shirt

Watch out world, the Aussies were coming.

You may know my sister as my partner in tennis love, yum cha discovery, buffet breakfast overindulgence, Baklava desire, bogan appreciation, pork infatuation, party throwing and cake decorating, wearing of see-through dresses, or you may simply know her as Prawnfinger.

I’ve known for a while that she sits more than a couple of standard deviations off to the right on the bell curve of Amazing, and now it seems the rest of Australia has cottoned on to this too. No longer are my sister and brother-in-law simply Kel and Dave. They are now MARRIED BIKERS. Amazing Married Bikers, in fact.

The Amazing Race has been a favourite show amongst many of my friends for years now, and the knowledge that Kel and Dave were going on be on the first ever Australian season was cause for many squeals of excitement and exclamation point laden text messages. We had no choice but to hold a viewing party in our lounge room.

Sushi, gado gado, chicken satay sticks, one lone pork bun left, and some nachos, ripe for pre-show plundering

People brought dishes to share, with standouts of delicious fresh gado gado, and freshly fried coconut and pandan roti (roti kaya? maybe?) that I completely failed to photograph and just about broke my heart not to eat (still FODMAPing and still can’t go near wheat, even when it is surrounding my favourite things). I also made peanut satay sauce from scratch for the very first time, using my amazing sister’s recipe which I will share with you at the end of this post so you can be as amazing as us! Everyone had worked up a healthy appetite by my housemate insisting that they all race from our front gate to our front door when they arrived, and soon there was nothing but a bit on the table but a lonely globe and some very good quality (mister!) Black & Gold cutlery.

Congratulations, you are team number two!

It was an action-packed episode, and lived up to all our expectations. I was tidying up my office the other day and came across a bag of Party Poppers that I suspect have been sitting around since my 21st, so I distributed these around the race viewers and we all got popping when the Married Bikers hit the pit stop mat in SECOND PLACE!

Awarding sweepstake prizes in my never-seen-out-in-public Bintang shirt

Last time I went to Bali, with Kel, I thought it was probably time that I bought myself the ubiquitous Bintang shirt. It has sat unworn in my shirt drawer since then, and I was glad to finally have an excuse to wear it (wear it ironically and sans-boardies and a Southern Cross tattoo) to suit the Indonesian theme of the first leg of the race. I also had a couple of tins of Silver Clove hanging around in my present cupboard from that trip, so I used these and some containers of my homemade peanut satay sauce as prizes for the team sweepstakes for the two lucky punters who had drawn Sam & Renae (I’m sure there’s a joke to be made here about wanting to do more than just draw Sam & Renae, or some such, but it seems a bit pointless if I can’t suggestively raise my eyebrows at you while I say it).

The party popper aftermath

Highlights of the night included hearing Dave promise to buy Kel a ‘nana if she managed to successfully complete the carrying-a-basket-of-vegies-on-your-head-through-some-markets-designed-only-for-very-short-people-to-do-such-feats task, and Kel exclaiming “holy shitballs!” when seeing the volume of Indonesian notes they had to accurately count to complete another task.

Lowlights of the night included being left with the aftermath of multiple party poppers being deployed. At least it wasn’t glitter.

The show continues tomorrow night, when they seem to be heading over to Vietnam. My sister has dreamt before that I married a Vietnamese man. Actually, a friend of mine has also dreamt that I married Luke Nguyen. This dream also involved catering for our wedding, and making poo and coconut rolls – most likely caused by my saying that I love coconut so much you could roll a turd in it and I’d happily eat it – so perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into any of this.

Anyway.. The Amazing Race Australia continues tomorrow night on Channel 7!

Go Kel & Dave!

Bumbu Kacang (Peanut Sauce)


  • Oil for frying peanuts (recipe says 1 cup, I used about a quarter to a half of this)
  • 150 g raw unsalted peanuts (can use cooked beer nuts to save time)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 large red chilli, trimmed and deseeded
  • 2 small chillies
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 medium tomato
  • 1 Tb palm sugar
  • 2 tsp kecap manis
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded (I found my sauce quite strong in this flavour so will cut this down a little next time)
  • 2 Tb fried shallots
  • 1/2 cup water


1. Heat wok with oil. Fry peanuts a handful at a time until golden brown. Do not discard skin if any. Remember they keep cooking after they’ve been taken out (you really don’t want to burn them, so err on the side of being underdone if unsure – you may find you have to waste the first batch as you suss out just how quickly they can turn from nicely golden to overly brown!). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper, and sprinkle with the salt.

2. Remove most of the oil from the wok, leaving about 2 tsp.

3. Fry the shrimp paste for ~30 seconds. Mmmmmmmmm shrimpy.

4. Place all the ingredients except for the peanuts in a food processor and blend to a paste. Add half the peanuts and blend until nearly smooth. Add the remaining peanuts and blend until you’re happy with the consistency. You may want to add more water, or some oil. If you like a sweeter, darker sauce you may also wish to add more kecap manis.

5. Serve with satay or gado gado.


  • Make up a big batch and stick it in the freezer! It keeps for ages and is ready to use when required without making your house stink of shrimp paste again.
  • Although I added extra water, and some extra oil when blending it, I found it quite thick when I went to use it the next day so I stirred more water through before heating and pouring over my chicken satay sticks.
  • You can use this as a base for stir fries or noodle dishes too – perhaps add some coconut milk for extra moisture.
  • It really is worth making this from scratch!
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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

erin May 22, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Woooooo first!


erin May 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Okay, no, seriously, that was lame. I think it is SO COOL that your sister is on The Amazing Race, even though I don’t have a TV and can’t watch it.

My sister and I used to talk about auditioning if it ever came to Australia, but we’d become infamous as the first people to ever kill each other on the show. Either that or she would be too busy calling me a hussy and throwing sandwiches at me (that actually happened once when we were traveling) to actually complete any of the tasks, and we would lose.


Conor May 23, 2011 at 8:52 am

Wow. I think you’re the first to ever do that on here. Always good when you see a dozen people all screaming FIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTT YES! and they’ve been beaten by someone else.

Yes, it is SO COOL. This is very un lame of you to say. Also, I want more information about this sandwich throwing. I am sure if you sent in a video of such an incident you would have gotten on. There appears to be a lack of sandwich throwing in this bunch so far.


erin May 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm

We were at the end of six weeks of traveling around Spain & Portugal together, and had just been to the Global Gathering festival in the UK. The day after we got back to London we were sitting outside the HOuse of Commons having a nice lunch of sandwiches, when suddenly the world’s greatest sister bitch fight erupted (it had been brewing all day), culminating in my sister punching me and throwing her sandwich at me and then storming off with all my money so I had to walk aimlessly around London for three hours, until we met back up at the London Eye (we had pre-booked tickets), where I promptly slapped her across the face and wished a plane crash upon her (she was flying home the next day; I didn’t leave for a few days after that).

We didn’t travel together for three years after that.

The real tragedy, however, is that I didn’t blog about it at the time. If that happened now I would probably blog it as it was happening. I was a terrible blogger back in 07!


erin May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm

PS, in retrospect my “FIRST!” was quite appropriate given that this was a post about a race. An amazing race!


Gcroft May 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Go Kel and Dave! Boo hoo, the video doesn’t work in ‘my region’. I’ll look it up on youtube instead.

Love the bumbu kacang recipe – looks amazing. I’ve had the beer, but darn it, don’t have the t-shirt!


Conor May 23, 2011 at 8:56 am

Poo! I just changed that embedded video to a YouTube one so hopefully that’ll work for everyone.

Aw, no Bintang shirt? You can’t be a bogan without a Bintang shirt! You really struck me as such a fabulous potential bogan too ;)


kel "married biker" miller May 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm

OMG, TRULY AMAZING, this has to be my favourite review of Episode 1! I too believe my sister is AMAZING :D


Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:41 pm



msihua May 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Yayy! All hail celebrity married biker!! WuhOO! Loving all the delicious food on array as well!
msihua´s last blog post ..SYDNEY- District Dining @ Surry Hills- NSW


Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Huzzah!! Hooray! :D


Iron Chef Shellie May 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm

yay!! go Kel!!
Iron Chef Shellie´s last blog post ..Mornington Trip A sneak peak…


Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Go go go!


OohLookBel May 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm

I’ve been telling people that I know someone who knows someone on the Amazing Race. Degrees of separation? Quite a few. —> Go Married Bikers!
OohLookBel´s last blog post ..Déjà vu mushroom risotto


Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Well, you’re beating the guy who was excited about sharing a tute with someone whose wife is the friend of someone whose sister is on the race :)


Adrian (Food Rehab) May 22, 2011 at 8:26 pm

You guys sure know how to throw a TV partaaay!!

Go Kel!
Adrian (Food Rehab)´s last blog post ..Cafe Hopping Around Melbourne- This is…Breakfast Indigestion 3!


Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:44 pm

We can only get better over the next 10 weeks too! :D Cheers Adrian!


GourmetGetaways May 23, 2011 at 8:01 am


That is fantastic, I will have to get hubby to download the series for me! I hope they do well.

The recipe looks absolutely delicious, my hubby is going to love you, this is one of his favourites :)



Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Yes yes you should! Thanks Julie! And very happy to help you thank your hubby by making him one of his faves :)


Karen Harris May 23, 2011 at 9:27 am

Well, by six degrees of separation I finally know someone who is a contestant on The Amazing Race, our absolute favorite way to spend a Sunday evening here in Colorado. Since we don’t get the Australian version I will depend on you to keep me up to date on how Kel and Dave do in their quest. What fun! I’ll have my fingers crossed for their success.
Karen Harris´s last blog post ..Cookin It Old School


Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm

You totally do, Karen! I mean, you practically are on the show yourself with these connections. I wonder what tagline your team would have? I think I would be part of the “gluttonous pigs” team.


Maria @ Scandifoodie May 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm

How exciting! Sounds like you had great fun at the TV party! ;-)
Maria @ Scandifoodie´s last blog post ..Buckwheat and spelt pancakes with chai poached pear and cardamom sauce


Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm

We did thanks Maria! More to come too!


Hannah May 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm

I love the fact that Kel and Dave are 100% the best pair by a million miles, and that I’d think so even if I wasn’t enamoured with you. My favourite quote from tonight’s episode? Dave: “I’ll probably crack the sads if we lose”. I just adore them. GO THE MARRIED BIKERS!
Hannah´s last blog post ..Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins


Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Hurrah!!! Dave’s one liners are cracking me up. It’s such a relief to have them (thus far) portrayed in a pretty realistic light! When you come over and visit us you can see this for yourself :)


Hannah May 29, 2011 at 8:11 am

I really want to make that happen…
Hannah´s last blog post ..How To Make A Birthday Better


Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 23, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Conor I am SO sad that I cannot see this marvellous show over here. I am relying on you to keep us posted. Pretty please????
Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite´s last blog post ..Hockley Valley Resort


Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:52 pm

I will, I will! Expect a DVD or two in the mail at some stage too :)


pierre May 24, 2011 at 3:56 am

in french we say “on ne choisit pas sa famille” in other words you can choose your friends but not your family but here that should be the reverse !!
pierre´s last blog post ..Asperges blanches et poires rôties- un peu de mesclun rouge


Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Hehe, good call Pierre! I will mispronounce this terribly at the next TV party :)


pachecopatty May 24, 2011 at 8:46 am

What a great excuse for a party with such good food, not that you need an excuse!
Congratulations to the bikers, I hope they win their race;-)
Thanks for the amazing peanut sauce recipe, I would love it on gado-gado with lots of chopped peanuts. yum;-)


Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Thanks Patty!
Yep, a nice crunchy gado gado with lots of peanutty goodness! And then some extra extra peanuts for luck :)


5 Star Foodie May 24, 2011 at 8:53 am

How exciting that your sister and brother-in-law are in the Amazing race and doing so well. A terrific recipe here too!


Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Thanks Natasha! So far so good :)


Anita May 24, 2011 at 6:26 pm

WOW!!!!! How exciting! Can’t believe your sister is on the Amazing race. Go bikers!


Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Woo! Thanks Anita!!


Evelyne@cheapethniceatz May 25, 2011 at 4:42 am

Wow that is so cool to watch people you actually know on the Amazing race, so awesome! What a blast you tv hosting night looks like. You are crazy grrrrl, love ya!
Evelyne@cheapethniceatz´s last blog post ..Body Art Henna Recipe


Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:58 pm

I know, the coolness far outweighs the weirdness. And really, it’s a good weirdness anyway :)
Hehe, thanks love!


Pam May 25, 2011 at 11:08 pm

How cool is that! I love Amazing Race (it’s my favorite show)… wish I could watch the Australian version. Go Kel and Dave!
Pam´s last blog post ..Greek Bruschetta


Conor May 28, 2011 at 11:59 pm

I’m with you Pam, was a fave show before this upped the excitement factor! Thanks for your support!


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Ooh how exciting! Ok I’m going to tune in now. I love the Amazing Race but never have enough time to watch it but I’ll make time!


Conor May 29, 2011 at 12:00 am

Woo, excellent Lorraine! I know what you mean though.. so many shows that friends have told me are ‘must watch’ but there just aren’t enough hours in the day. When will I be a lady of leisure, I ask you? Lotto?


Arwen from Hoglet K May 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm

How exciting for you and your sister! I like the idea of the themed food too. I’m always too lazy to make my own peanut sauce, but maybe it’s time I had another go at it.


Conor May 29, 2011 at 12:01 am

I’ve been too lazy as well Arwen, but if you can make enough time and muster enough energy to make a big batch up you can freeze it for lazy times ahead :)


Katherine May 28, 2011 at 6:11 am

You know how much I love the Amazing Race. I cant believe I know someone related to someone on the Amazing Race ehehehe. I am a little starstruck Conor. Dave is hilarious and has a way with words. Especially with Muscles and those Lamo Entrpreneurs with their Focus, Believe Achieve… Can wait for the next episode.. woohoooo.. Go Kel and Dave…
Katherine´s last blog post ..Tapas – Dinner Party


Conor May 29, 2011 at 12:04 am

I do indeed, and I’m very happy to provide a conduit to you “knowing” someone on the race ;) Love that you’re enjoying them, I can’t wait for it either! Woo!!!


Bryt May 29, 2011 at 5:51 am

Found myself watching this the other night at work. Normally I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash at the show but having read your post the other day, I was intrigued. And once you start, it’s actually difficult to pull yourself away. Although I couldn’t stop thinking, I am soo glad I’m not the camera man stuck following the affirmation chanting couple (one-oh-fiiiiive! Focus! Believe! Achieve!) I’m sure it works for them but geez, I would’ve bopped them on the head 5 mins in just to shut them up!


Conor May 29, 2011 at 5:27 pm

It’s definitely a show to get drawn into, especially once you form opinions about the teams! I’m very keen to see how Richard and Joey (the focus believe achievers) go down on tomorrow’s episode!!


Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen May 29, 2011 at 10:28 am

Wow, Conor…you really made your satay sauce the traditional way! My mum would be so proud of you for not using peanut butter (like I do sometimes). As for The Amazing Race, I’m an inner biker chick so I’m totally rooting for Dave and Kel! Hope they get to race in a Brunei leg…if they do, I’m so going to go out and scream, ‘I know CONORRRRR’ to the cameras in support of your sister’s team ;-).


Conor May 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Yay, thanks Maya! That makes me happy to be up to your Mum’s standards :D Still, I think when you’re strapped for time you can make a pretty tasty one with peanut butter.

Haha!! I love the thought of you out there in bikie attire screaming at them, and maybe tossing a cake for them to scoff down in between challenges :D


Cakelaw May 29, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Looks like a fun party! Those peanut skewers would be scrumptilicious – perfect party food.
Cakelaw´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers – Chocolate Marquise on Meringue


Conor May 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Thanks! Yep, things on sticks are always party friendly (plus you can use the stick as a mega giant toothpick which is always useful in group situations) ;)


Forager @ The Gourmet Forager May 30, 2011 at 4:03 pm

That’s awesome news! Ok – now I must watch the Amazing race! Will be cheering them on & secretly glad that we’re snug at home & not doing something ridiculous/painful/impossible/smelly/all of the above.
Forager @ The Gourmet Forager´s last blog post ..Frisbees- tiles and lessons in wastage from Wasted popup


Conor June 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm

You must you must! With party poppers at the ready! And your vacuum! :D

Yeah, after last week I was pretty glad that I wasn’t somewhere having my head shaved.


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