As best-selling children's cookery author Annabel Karmel gets ready for Christmas, one thing there is no shortage of in her house is food. Her kitchen table will be groaning with her delicious creations over the festive season as she and her family gather to celebrate in their favourite way. "We all live for food – it's our great love," says Annabel. "We're always planning what we're going to eat next, and half my brain thinks about food the whole time. I think the dogs are probably the only ones who like food more than me."
WATCH: Take a peek inside Annabel Karmel's stunning home
The three pooches certainly seem to be the best-fed dogs in London and take centre stage as HELLO! joins nutrition expert Annabel and her daughters Lara, 29, and Scarlett, 27, at her home in St John's Wood for this exclusive interview and photoshoot. Alongside Annabel's golden retriever Sabre, Samoyed Hamilton and American cocker spaniel Bono is Lara's Maltipoo puppy Cleo. And everyone is clearly getting into the festive spirit.
"I love Christmas," says Annabel. "I love all the decorations and I really go to town on making fun food for kids. We're spending Christmas in Miami so on the 18th the kids, their partners and my mum will come over for turkey and all the trimmings." Naturally, the dogs won't be going hungry – and they won't have to rely on scraps from the dinner table either. Instead, they will be tucking into homemade treats including Yule Dog meatloaf; turkey, broccoli and cranberry bites; and peanut butter and banana ice cream, all of which feature in Annabel's latest book, The Happy Dog Cookbook.
"We all live for food – it's our great love," says Annabel
"I love dogs. One day I want to have a dog refuge," says Annabel, who lives with her partner, lawyer and film producer Stephen Margolis. "They're such gorgeous creatures and they love you so much. They have all the best qualities of humans. And dogs are a dream to test recipes on because they will eat anything, whereas babies are the most difficult consumer you could possibly imagine."
Annabel, whose 45 cookbooks, including her best-selling Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner, are owned by families all over the world, made her foray into canine cuisine after posting an April Fool's Day joke featuring Bono on the cover of a spoof doggie cookbook. "Everyone thought it was true, and then the tailored subscription dog food company tails.com asked if I would help with a book they were publishing. I thought: 'This is unbelievable.'"
Proceeds from the book, which is co-authored by tails.com's head vet Sean McCormack, will go to the charity Street Vet, which helps care for dogs owned by the homeless. "Most people don't have time to cook for their dogs but if you're cooking something for yourself and you can cook it for the dog as well, it's great. I still give mine dog food but I do a lot of cooking, too. Essential fatty acids are good for Hamilton's joints, and a piece of salmon cooked in the microwave twice a week is probably better for him than any medicine."
Pick up this week's issue of HELLO! for the full interview and photoshoot.
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