Default How to install custom rom on formatted sd card.

I'm trying to do a clean install on a formatted sd card. Before I format I want to make sure that I can send the rom and gapps to the device while in recovery. So I downloaded the newest unified toolkit and upgraded to my pro version with my gnex code. I boot to cwm recovery. I run toolkit, can see the device serial under Adb mode, but when I try to push files it gives me a mount failure error in the toolkit window. I also tried going to a command prompt to see if the Adb mount command would work from the command line, but I keep getting "Adb is not a recognized command, operator etc". I tried Adb from within the toolkit directory, the c: root, and the android Sdk directory and I get the same error. Ultimately, like I stated above I just want to do a clean install of a CM rom with a formatted sd card for a totally clean slate. I already have the files on the device on the sdCard in a folder called download. Can I install the Rom and gapps then format the card, or do I have to format the card first, then push the files, then install the rom? Thanks for the help!