How do I adjust the height of items while editing a print design template?
Not all objects can be resized, and not all objects can be resized in all directions. For the Ingredients, you can only resize its width. That is because the list of ingredients may be long or short, depending on the recipe. MasterCook will adjust the height as required. The same applies to the directions. If you forced the directions to be a certain height then you would truncate those recipes that have longer directions than others.
MasterCook allows you to have a photo for each direction step. Therefore, there must be room for those photos in the directions object in the print layout to make a place for them. Therefore, the directions are actually comprised of a group object--direction text and photo for each direction row. You must take care when manipulating this object box for this data field as a result. Make sure you are grabbing the correct thing.
If you want to take up as less footprint as possible with directions, do no use photos in the directions and place all of your text within the first direction row, so it doesn't have to account for data spread across multiple rows.
MasterCook is a database program and prints like one. It works more like Access than Word for this reason. The print design instructs the program to populate based on data from the fields of recipes. Word processor programs define the content and print what is on the screen. They are two different things and as a result work much differently. This is all by design and as expected for database programs to print.
If you want to use Word, you can copy/paste recipes into Word, so they are treated as text instead of fields of data.