Oh man. I, too, suffer from oven issues. This can be tough enough on me, and I’m not even a baker! I don’t really have a specific oven thermometer recommendation, as you’ll still have to check it all the time anyhow 🙁 if baking has really become a passion of yours, there are a ton of affordable countertop ovens that will bring you all the comfort and ease you need! I have a couple just in case I’m making a big meal and need the extra space, but there are so now that are even better than my fancy ass (sometimes-working) built-in oven.
As for ingredients in nyc, most of my Thai stuff comes from Bangkok Center Grocery on Mosco street (a tiny little street near Tribeca). It’s very small but has all the authentic Thai ingredients you could ever need. But my favorite is Kalustyan’s on Lexington. It has EVERYTHING you could ever need. I’ve personally never NOT found something there. Even if you don’t need anything, it is a mecca for getting inspired by medjool dates, banana leaves and spices you’ve never before heard of. There is also a hot sauce wall to rival….any other place with hot sauce walls.
It can be intimidating but the staff are super helpful so ask questions! And get a piece of baklava to-go 🙂