I have found that the less preamble before a meal the better. If you set someone up for something new and wonderful for dinner, some recipients can become suspicious and mentally prepare themselves for something scary. You know who they…..or possibly you are.
For instance, it is more effective to say ‘Ha! There was no dairy at all in that mac and cheese that you just said you loved!’ (you can word this more maturely if that’s your style) than ‘You are going to loooove this mac and cheese, you can’t even tell it’s dairy-free’. Even if you are cooking food for adults, in my experience, unless they are your fellow nerdy nutritionist friends or vegetable-appreciating sisters, it is usually better to be sneaky.