Photographer and Author Tony Northrup has put together a video tutorial on how to use your DSLR's histogram and exposure compensation to get proper exposure when working with backgrounds that are too dark or too bright. He also talks about spot metering vs. evaluative metering, and discusses when and why he chooses the different modes. There are a number of good tips in this video, and if you're out taking photos in the snowy North, you might find them helpful.
If you haven't seen any of Tony's work or other videos, head over to his YouTube page, where he has lots of short, but highly informative videos about different aspects of photography. One of his more popular videos was this one below, about shooting portraits in the full sun and filling with flash.